– Historic moment –
It marks a dramatic resurgence for the woman often described as the most experienced US presidential candidate in generations, but who remains mired in scandal about her emails and perceptions of dishonesty – leaving her with unpopularity ratings surpassed only by the controversial Trump.
Her stiff campaigning style saw her lose to Barack Obama in the 2008 battle for the Democratic nomination and has drawn stark contrast to the crowds of thousands of young people that 74-year-old Sanders has energized nationwide.
Clinton, who trails Trump by nearly two weeks in securing her party’s presumptive nomination, has refrained from getting too carried away by the US network tallies, urging her supporters to still come out and vote.
“We are on the brink of a historic, historic, unprecedented moment,” she said in Long Beach, California. “But we still have work to do, don’t we?”
On Tuesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi – who was the first woman speaker of the House of Representatives and is a California superdelegate this year – formally endorsed Clinton shortly before voting kicked off in her home state.
California Senator Barbara Boxer said it was a thrilling moment, nearly 100 years after women first won the national vote in 1920.
“My heart is beating faster today,” Boxer told CNN. “The men had a very big head start on us, particularly white men, as you know. So it has taken us a long time to prove to the people. All we’re saying is we’re equal.”