LOS ANGELES (AP) — Striding into history, Hillary Clinton will become the first woman to top the presidential ticket of a major U.S. political party, capturing commitments Monday from the number of delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination.
Clinton’s rise to presumptive nominee arrived nearly eight years to the day after she conceded her first White House campaign to Barack Obama.
Earlier Monday, the White House said Obama was on the verge of formally endorsing his former secretary of state and to start aggressively making the case against Republican Donald Trump.
White House officials said the endorsement could come within days, although not before Democrats in New Jersey, California and four other states voted today.
Campaigning this time as the loyal successor to the nation’s first black president, Clinton held off a surprisingly strong challenge from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
He mobilized millions with a fervently liberal message, and his insurgent candidacy revealed a deep level of national frustration with politics as usual — even among Democrats, who have controlled the White House since 2009.
Clinton reached the 2,383 delegates needed to become the presumptive Democratic nominee with a decisive weekend victory in Puerto Rico and a burst of last-minute support from superdelegates.
Campaigning in California late Monday, Clinton said she was on the brink of a “historic, unprecedented moment.”
But she said there was still work to be done and made little mention of her claim on the nomination.
Sanders’ campaign said it was a “rush to judgment” to declare Clinton the presumptive nominee given that superdelegates can still switch their support before the party’s national convention in late July.