Hillary Clinton Quitting Tonight (Or IS She?)

AP BREAKING: Clinton set to concede delegate race to Obama

Hillary Rodham Clinton will concede Tuesday night that Barack Obama has the delegates to secure the Democratic nomination, campaign officials said, effectively ending her bid to be the nation’s first female president.

Obama is 40 delegates shy of clinching the nomination, but he is widely expected to make up the difference Tuesday with superdelegate support and votes in South Dakota and Montana. Once he reaches the magic number of 2,118, Clinton will acknowledge that he has secured the necessary delegates to be the nominee.

The former first lady will stop short of formally suspending or ending her race in her speech in New York City.

She will pledge to continue to speak out on issues like health care. But for all intents and purposes, the two senior officials said, the campaign is over.

I’m still skeptical, despite all the signs that this is over. Certainly, a graceful exit is the prudent move. But losing the delegate count has been a foregone conclusion for weeks and Clinton has refused to go quietly.

That she’ll “stop short of formally suspending or ending her race” line leads me to believe she’s up to something. I have no idea what, however.

UPDATE: The Clinton campaign has quickly issued a denial, Fox News reports.

“The AP story is incorrect. Senator Clinton will not concede the nomination this evening,” the campaign’s statement reads in its entirety.


Speaking with FOX News shortly after the AP issued its report, Clinton campaign adviser Maria Cardona said she had only heard of the report moments earlier. “It (the report) was news to me. … As of this moment, Senator Obama does not have the delegates necessary to claim the nomination,” Cardona said.

UPDATE: Reuters: “Clinton campaign says she’s not conceding.”

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is “absolutely not” planning to concede the campaign to Barack Obama on Tuesday night, Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe told CNN on Tuesday. “No one has the number to be the nominee of the Democratic party right now,” he said.

McAuliffe, asked about an AP report that Clinton will acknowledge Tuesday night after the South Dakota and Montana primaries that Obama has the delegates to clinch the nomination for the November presidential election, replied: “They are 100 percent incorrect.”

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Bithead says:

    I am reminded of the too- early- reported demise of Bob Hope.