On June 7, 2008, Hillary Clinton stepped on a stage between two colossal Corinthian columns inside the National Building Museum’s Great Hall, conceded the Democratic presidential nomination, and threw her full support behind then-Sen. Barack Obama. “Well, this isn’t exactly the party I planned, but I sure like the company,” she said to open her remarks. Eight years later, Clinton is expected to declare victory tonight over Sen. Bernie Sanders.
— No matter what happens in California or the five other states voting Tuesday, Sanders will face pressure to bow out and kickstart a unification behind the first female presidential nominee from a major party. Only Sanders’s most ardent supporters can see a path to victory through the fog of his defeat: He trailed Clinton by more than 3 million popular votes, nearly 300 pledged delegates, and more than 500 superdelegates headed into the final big primary day.
— The Associated Press and NBC News took some of the wind out of the sails of the Clinton campaign, announcing the former secretary of State as the presumptive Democratic nominee Monday night after surveying undeclared superdelegates, rather than allowing for the more natural setting of an election night declaration to be followed by a historic victory speech. But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi added fuel to the moment Tuesday morning when she announced her endorsement of Clinton on ABC’s Good Morning America. After noting that Clinton will be elected because “she’s the best, not because she’s a woman,” the country’s first female speaker conceded that “it’s pretty exciting” to have a woman top her party’s ticket.
— Clinton downplayed the news Monday night, encouraging voters to still get to the polls and ensure Sanders doesn’t have momentum—real or imagined—heading into the convention next month. The hope among Clinton supporters is that Sanders will step aside just as Clinton did eight years ago today. If he does, few on the East Coast will see it, as the program at Sanders’s election night rally in Santa Monica isn’t scheduled to start until 1 a.m. ET.
“Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it,” Clinton said back in 2008, before hinting at what was to come for her, even if she didn’t know it at the time. “And the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time.” It was easier, if only just a little.
— Kyle Trygstad