Obama Clinches Nomination; First Black Candidate to Lead a Major Party Ticket
By JEFF ZELENY
A last-minute rush of Democratic superdelegates, as well as the results from the final primaries, in Montana and South Dakota, pushed Mr. Obama over the threshold of winning the 2,118 delegates needed to be nominated at the party’s convention in August. The victory for Mr. Obama, the son of a black Kenyan father and a white Kansan mother, broke racial barriers and represented a remarkable rise for a man who just four years ago served in the Illinois Senate.
“Tonight, we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another — a journey that will bring a new and better day to America,” Mr. Obama told supporters at a rally in St. Paul. “Because of you, tonight I can stand here and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States of America.”
Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton talked early Wednesday morning by telephone. He congratulated her and renewed his offer to "sit down when it makes sense for you," according to a spokesman for Mr. Obama, Robert Gibbs.
“The American people didn’t get to know me yesterday, as they are just getting to know Senator Obama,” Mr. McCain told supporters.
Mr. Obama called Mrs. Clinton late Tuesday evening to congratulate her, but aides said he left a message because he could not reach her. In his speech, his supporters cheered as he paid respect to his rival.