SPOTLIGHT

Hillary Clinton’s Big Day

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton walks with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. Clinton is attend meetings on Capitol Hill with House and Senate Democrats.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh
June 7, 2016, 10:52 a.m.

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

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