June 7, 2016
It has been nearly a year since Hillary Clinton formally launched her second White House bid from an island with sweeping views of the New York skyline.
But as Clinton prepares to accept the mantle of presumptive nominee Tuesday with a similar backdrop at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, her campaign staffers are looking at another speech eight years ago to the day as they try to put a sometimes-bitter Democratic primary race behind them.
“When I started this race, I intended to win back the White House and make sure we have a president who puts our country back on the path to peace, prosperity and progress. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do, by ensuring that Barack Obama walks through the doors of the Oval Office on January 20, 2009,” Clinton said on June 7, 2008, days after the final votes were cast in the race.
The desire to now bring Democrats and independents who had been drawn to Bernie Sanders’ campaign behind Clinton was evident in how Clinton’s campaign reacted Monday night when the Associated Press projected that she had clinched the nomination, based on fresh pledges from superdelegates.
The key moment, her campaign argued, will be Tuesday night when she clinches the majority of pledged delegates — a milestone that means Sanders could only wrest the nomination away from her by relying on the very superdelegate system his allies have argued is undemocratic. That moment is likely to come after the polls close at 8 p.m. EDT in New Jersey, where the former secretary of State is a heavy favorite.
As the primary phase of the campaign winds down, the Clinton team is taking stock. A campaign official said she has now held 419 public events in 42 states and territories since becoming a candidate. The official said volunteers have made 16 million door knocks and phone calls, while the candidate herself has released 201 pages worth of policy proposals.
Though the focus Tuesday will be in Brooklyn, the campaign also says there will be watch parties in a dozen other states, mainly November battlegrounds.
Clinton said in an interview Monday with Rachel Maddow that she’ll quickly turn to the task ahead after Tuesday.
“I will be reaching out [to Bernie Sanders] after tomorrow night because I obviously want to unify the party, and as I just said, we have so much more in common. And we face a very serious threat from Donald Trump,” she said.