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AP: Clinton Clinches Democratic Presidential Nomination

Ahead of the California primary on Tuesday, the former secretary of state has won enough delegates to begin a dramatic general election face-off with GOP nominee Donald Trump over their stark foreign policy differences.

Clintonclinch
Clintonclinch

Hillary Clinton will become the first woman to ever be nominated for president by a major U.S. political party, The Associated Press reported Monday night, a historic and likely cathartic moment for the former secretary of state.

An unexpectedly strong challenge from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has dogged her primary campaign and prevented her from focusing her full attention on presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump. The race between the two candidates — who have dramatically different worldviews, resumes, and personal styles — can now begin in earnest. President Barack Obama is expected to formally endorse Clinton this week, giving her another major boost.

Even as the Democratic primary in California has tightened before Tuesday’s vote there, in recent days, Clinton has begun to look past Sanders and focus her fire on Trump. She used a sharp-edged Thursday speech to excoriate his “America First” policy of reducing U.S. military commitments abroad and threatening trade wars with China and other powers as “dangerously incoherent.”

Hillary Clinton will become the first woman to ever be nominated for president by a major U.S. political party, The Associated Press reported Monday night, a historic and likely cathartic moment for the former secretary of state.

An unexpectedly strong challenge from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has dogged her primary campaign and prevented her from focusing her full attention on presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump. The race between the two candidates — who have dramatically different worldviews, resumes, and personal styles — can now begin in earnest. President Barack Obama is expected to formally endorse Clinton this week, giving her another major boost.

Even as the Democratic primary in California has tightened before Tuesday’s vote there, in recent days, Clinton has begun to look past Sanders and focus her fire on Trump. She used a sharp-edged Thursday speech to excoriate his “America First” policy of reducing U.S. military commitments abroad and threatening trade wars with China and other powers as “dangerously incoherent.”

The real-estate magnate, who has had the luxury of emerging as the last man standing from a once-crowded and contentious Republican field weeks ago, has hit back with typical bluster. He regularly blasts the former secretary of state for poor judgment, from her vote for the Iraq war to her role encouraging Obama to intervene in Libya in 2011.

Interestingly, Trump’s approach — and even some of his rhetoric — mirrors that of Sanders, an avowed socialist and longtime opponent of using U.S. military force abroad. At times during their bitter primary race, Sanders has used Iraq and Libya to combat Clinton’s deeper foreign policy experience and argue his positions are more in line with the Democratic Party’s base.

As if to underscore the point, even after the AP reported late Monday that Clinton has clinched the 2,383 delegates needed to become the Democratic nominee, both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns put out statements saying the race is still on, pointing to six primaries that will be decided Tuesday night — including California, the country’s largest, where they’re virtually neck-and-neck.

“This is an important milestone, but there are six states that are voting Tuesday, with millions of people heading to the polls, and Hillary Clinton is working to earn every vote,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said. “We look forward to Tuesday night, when Hillary Clinton will clinch not only a win in the popular vote, but also the majority of pledged delegates.”

The Sanders campaign immediately followed, blaming the media for rushing to call the race when superdelegate votes won’t be finalized until the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July.

“Our job from now until the convention is to convince those superdelegates that Bernie is by far the strongest candidate against Donald Trump,” Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs said.

Photo credit: DAVID McNEW/Stringer

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