Congratulations to Hillary Clinton for clinching the 2016 Democratic nomination to be president of the United States of America.
Primary voters in California, New Jersey and other states will still be going to the polls today, but as the Associated Press notes, as of today Clinton has already compiled more than enough delegates needed to become the nominee. She also leads by significant margins in the number of earned delegates and total votes cast, and today’s results can merely pad her final delegate count.
After a quarter century in the often harsh national spotlight, Clinton is admittedly a controversial figure. But like her or not, her triumph is more than personal or political; it is historic. Almost a century after women in this country were given the right to vote, overcoming arguments that “the weaker sex” were not intellectually or emotionally equipped for the demanding world of politics, she becomes the first American woman to win the presidential nomination of either major political party.
The famous warning issued by future First Lady Abigail Adams at the moment of our nation’s founding — “If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation”– has come a step closer to fruition.
In Washington, President Obama — himself a sign of our national promise kept — and Vice President Biden are reportedly ready to publicly endorse Clinton as the nominee and to mark the important moment, with Obama also eager to begin uniting the party behind his former secretary of state. Given the tone to date, the battle ahead will not be for the faint of heart.
Of course, none of this is pleasant news for Sen. Bernie Sanders and his supporters. For weeks now they have claimed some theoretical means by which they could still compete for and win the nomination, but with each passing Tuesday, that theory became more and more unlikely. After a long, hard campaign that achieved far more than most believed possible and forced important issues onto the national stage, the end has come.
That brings deep disappointment and a form of grief, as Clinton herself can attest from her painful loss eight years ago. It’s hard to surrender a dream that once had seemed attainable.
But the voters have had their say, and their decision has to be respected. The leading players in the cast for November are now set.