Clinton to end run, endorse Obama on Saturday
WASHINGTON - New York Sen. Hillary Clinton will drop out of the presidential race and cede the Democratic nomination to Illinois Sen. Barack Obama at the end of this week, per an official statement from her campaign.
"Senator Clinton will be hosting an event in Washington, DC to thank her supporters and express her support for Senator Obama and party unity," said the statement. "This event will be held on Saturday to accommodate more of Senator Clinton's supporters who want to attend."
Various media outlets buzzed about the potential exit throughout the afternoon before official word came in the evening. ABC News first reported Wednesday that Clinton would step down on Friday, without citing any sources. CNN also reported the same news based on multiple sources. The New York Times based its story on word from a Clinton senior adviser.
Obama secured the Democratic Party's presidential nomination on Tuesday night after a long and hard-fought primary battle with Clinton for the right to face Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona in the November 4 general election.
Clinton "will hold an event with supporters ... likely ending her historic bid for the White House and ceding the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama," reported ABC News, following the news with a comprehensive analysis of the battle for the nomination.
"Democratic members of Congress urged her on Wednesday to leave the race and allow the party to unite around Mr. Obama," the Times quoted the senior adviser. The article added that Clinton aides said "it was urgent that she step aside."
While Clinton could have theoretically carried her campaign on to the Democratic convention in August in Denver, Colorado, ABC News suggested that it "would have undoubtedly left the Democratic nominee damaged, forced to face a Republican nominee free to campaign through the summer against a disorganized and divided Democratic party."
This video is from ABC's World News, broadcast June 4, 2008.
With wire services.