Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Clinton defiant in face of loss

Hillary Clinton refused to surrender to Barack Obama in the Democratic race for the United States presidency on Tuesday or to acknowledge she had reached the end of the road in her bid for the White House.

Rather than concede the loss to Obama, the New York senator told a cheering crowd she would consult supporters and party leaders to decide the future of her campaign.

Clinton praised Obama and vowed to help unite the party to defeat Republican John McCain (71) in November’s election but added defiantly: ”This is a long campaign and I will be making no decisions tonight.”

She urged supporters to contact her campaign’s website, saying: ”I want to hear from you … Share your thoughts with me.”

Some supporters speculated Clinton was jockeying for the job of vice-president on Obama’s ticket. Clinton said earlier she was open to the idea, and the Obama campaign said it was keeping its options open.

An Illinois senator, Obama captured the Democratic party nomination on Tuesday, capping a rapid rise from political obscurity to become the first black American to lead a major US party into a race for the White House.

A surge of support from uncommitted delegates helped give Obama the 2 118 votes of convention delegates he needed to clinch the nomination and defeat Clinton, a former first lady who entered the race as a heavy favorite.

August convention

Clinton (60), hailed Obama (46), and his supporters ”for all they accomplished”, saying they had run an extraordinary race for the Democratic presidential nomination. The party delegates will meet at a Denver convention in August.

”Senator Obama has inspired so many Americans to care about politics and empowered so many more to get involved,” she told supporters. ”And our party and our democracy is stronger and more vibrant as a result.”

Despite Obama’s victory, Clinton planned to concentrate on winning uncommitted delegates to her side, her campaign said.

”She is still a candidate for president and is still making her case as to why she should be the nominee for president,” spokesperson Mo Elleithee said. ”She’s going to be taking the next couple of days to make her case to delegates, to unpledged delegates and superdelegates and take stock after that.”

”Now that the voting’s over, she has the ability to go to these remaining delegates and say look at where we stand. Look at who closed stronger.”

Supporters chanted ”Yes, she can” and ”Yes, she will.”

Patricia Williams (45), a stay-at-home mother in the Bronx, was visibly upset by Clinton’s apparent defeat.

”I’ve been crying all day. You see my eyes?” she said. ”Whatever she does I will support her, but I wish she would take it to the convention.”

Former New York Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, who was in the crowd, said she was reminded of her own feelings after losing a close race for New York’s US Senate seat in 1980.

Holtzman said when she lost, her campaign tried to keep going for a couple days, waiting for the counting of absentee and military ballots before conceding defeat.

”Rather than coming to grips with reality, we kept it going and it was a mistake,” she said. ”It would have been better to have acknowledged it.” – Reuters

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

‘People feel they have a stake in SAA’ — Gidon...

Interest in the beleaguered national carrier, which has received billions of rands in public funding, means criticism is inevitable

Soweto teacher dismissed for the alleged repeated rape of a...

The learner was 13 when the alleged rapes started, and they continued for two years until she asked to be moved to another school

More top stories

Hospitals near capacity: What the new Covid-19 restrictions mean for...

After a dramatic surge in Covid-19 infections, President Ramaphosa has brought the country back to level three restrictions

Eskom to take over distribution, billing at troubled Free State...

The Maluti-a-Phofung local municipality owes the power utility more than R5-billion

ANC committed to paying staff salaries, but employees are not...

ANC staffers picketed outside Luthuli House on Tuesday after months of problems with salary payments

Kanalelo Boloetsi: Taking on Lesotho’s cellphone giants, and winning

A man who took on cellphone data regulators over out-of-bundle rates is featured in this edition of a series on human rights defenders in the SADC region
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×