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AP Tally: Obama Clinches Nomination

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Barack Obama has clinched the Democratic presidential nomination, becoming the first black candidate to lead a major party into a campaign for the White House. Hillary Rodham Clinton swiftly signaled her interest in joining his ticket as running mate.

Obama sealed his nomination victory Tuesday, based on public declarations from many "superdelegates" as well as private support from others who confirmed their intentions to The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, Hillary Rodham Clinton is at home in Chappaqua, New York, with her husband and daughter, placing calls to friends and supporters and working on a final draft of her speech Tuesday night.

She's also resting her voice, which was nearly shot after days of nonstop campaigning.

In a formal statement, her campaign said that Clinton "will not concede the nomination" in her speech.

But aides say she is prepared to acknowledge that Barack Obama has enough delegates to be the Democratic nominee, if he reaches that milestone.

Clinton aides who work in key battleground states say they were told to stand down, without pay, and await instructions.

Campaign officials say Clinton will not formally end her campaign, so she can keep her leverage to negotiate with Obama on various issues.

Clinton has also told congressional colleagues she would be open to becoming Barack Obama's vice presidential nominee, saying she would consider it if it would help Democrats win the White House.

Clinton made the comment on a conference call with other New York lawmakers Tuesday, according a participant on the call.

The senator's remarks came in response to a question from Democratic Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez who said she believed the best way for Obama to win over key voting blocs, including Hispanics, would be for him to choose Clinton as his running mate.

"I am open to it," Clinton replied, if it would help the party's prospects in November.


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