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Clinton To Acknowledge 'Where We Are' Tonight

A senior Clinton adviser told The Fix moments ago that Hillary Rodham Clinton will "recognize the reality of where we are" during her remarks tonight in New York City.

The adviser warned that the language of Clinton's speech was not yet set and offered no comment about reports that the New York senator is planning to admit tonight that Barack Obama has the 2,118 delegates necessary to formally clinch the party's nomination. Other high-ranking Clinton aides professed no knowledge that a decision had been made to acknowledge Obama as the nominee tonight.

The Clinton campaign, in fact, released a statement insisting that the Associated Press story that fueled this maelstrom was not correct; "Senator Clinton will not concede the nomination this evening," the statement asserted.

Language is important here. An acknowledgment of Obama securing the delegates he needs to formally become the party's nominee is NOT the same thing as a concession by Clinton.

Over the past few days, Clinton has focused almost exclusively on the popular vote count -- all but ignoring the delegate race in a seeming concession of her inability to overcome Obama in that metric.

Therefore, Clinton may well use the national spotlight tonight to do two things: acknowledge Obama has the delegates he needs while also trumpeting her popular vote edge. Clinton could then spend the next 24 hours (or so) taking the pulse of committed and uncommitted superdelegates about their willingness (or lack thereof) to take her side.

The likely outcome of such a move seems clear: superdelegates, to date, have shown little willingness to buck the choices of the pledged delegates. With party leaders pushing a quick unification behind Obama, it's hard to see that logic changing.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 3, 2008; 11:42 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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