– Bernie or bust? –
Clinton held a commanding lead over her Democratic Party rival Bernie Sanders even before Tuesday’s votes, having passed the magic number of 2,383 delegates required to clinch the nomination.
But like Obama before her, Clinton must now reconcile a bruised and deeply divided party and rally it behind her in the brutal match against Trump.
Sanders – who has yet to concede defeat – has harnessed a tidal wave of anger at the ruling political class.
With an insurgent campaign he challenged Clinton harder for the party nomination than most believed was possible.
“I want to congratulate Senator Sanders for an extraordinary campaign,” Clinton said, touching on the watchwords of her rival – inequality and upward mobility.
“It never feels good to put your heart into a cause,” she said, “and to come up short.”
The drive for party unity is likely to receive another shot in the arm when Obama comes off the sidelines and offers his own endorsement of Clinton, as soon as Wednesday.
That will not come as surprise, but it will serve to coax hardline “Bernie or bust” fans back into the party tent.
Obama has approval ratings above 80 percent with liberal democrats who make up the bulk of Sanders’ support.