Clinton Will Suspend Campaign on Saturday

Hillary Clinton, bowing to pressure from aides and supporters, made plans today to suspend her campaign and endorse Barack Obama this Saturday. 

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton will endorse Senator Barack Obama on Saturday, bringing a close to her 17-month campaign for the White House, aides said. Hillary_wave Her decision came after Democrats urged her Wednesday to leave the race and allow the party to coalesce around Mr. Obama.

Howard Wolfson, one of Mrs. Clinton’s chief strategists, and other aides said she would express support for Mr. Obama and party unity at an event in Washington that day. One adviser said Mrs. Clinton would concede defeat, congratulate Mr. Obama and proclaim him the party’s nominee, while pledging to do what was needed to assure his victory in November.

Mrs. Clinton’s decision to suspend her campaign, which was first reported by ABC News, was a bow to the emerging political reality. No one in her campaign — including by all reports Mrs. Clinton herself — saw a viable road to the nomination. A suspension of the campaign allows her to continue raising money and pay off millions of dollars in debt.

The party’s desire for Mrs. Clinton to leave the race was signaled, politely, as four top Democratic leaders issued an early morning statement asking all uncommitted delegates to make their decisions by Friday. The statement from the Democratic chairman, Howard Dean, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Harry Reid and Gov. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, stopped short of endorsing Mr. Obama, but aides said they were likely to move in that direction if Mrs. Clinton lingered in the race.

Discuss (politely!).

  • (Show?)

    This is good. Hillary fought hard. She fought rough. Sometimes the tenor of her campaign even gave me doubts as to whether she was really putting the interests of our country and party (which at this point is the only one that can save the country) ahead of her own.

    But she's finally come home. That's all that matters.

    Ralph Nader and his supporters enabled Bush's first term. But she won't be responsible for enabling a third.

  • Gil Johnson (unverified)

    As an Obama supporter, I didn't mind Hillary staying in the race until the very last primary--heck, it meant that every state that followed the party rules had a voice in the campaign. Some of her attacks were way over the top, but let's hope that's all behind us.

    It's now a question of how hard she will work for Obama's election. Lot of discussion about whether she should be on the ticket--and a lot of it centered around placating her and her supporters.

    I figure Obama should have a very private chat with her (no Bill around, for sure) and offer her the first Supreme Court seat that opens up. Helluva a lot better job than VP and you apparently are never to old for it. I think Hillary would make an awesome Justice and the opportunity will arise early in an Obama administration, because a couple of the liberals on the bench want to retire.

  • Munir Katul (unverified)

    Thank you, Hillary. Better late than never. Let's proceed with unity and stop the bashing and the blame games. McCain will be a serious challenge and we need every vote to defeat him.


  • (Show?)

    They said last night on MSNBC that the Clinton campaign had already put out a press item saying that President Clinton was headed back to his office at the foundation and would be busy there. They took it as a signal that the Clinton campaign was assuring the Obama campaign that he would be out of the way.

    It was fun watching MSNBC last night as they counted down. Abby kept jumping up and down saying "Bama's gonna win!"

  • Dan (unverified)

    No way Hillary gets a SCOTUS nomination. There are a lot more deserving folks out there. Talk about placation.

    Let's not forget Hillary was a Goldwater Girl at one point. She's too shady.

  • Gil Johnson (unverified)

    Uh, Dan, I suppose you never did anything stupid when you were 16? Hillary and I are about the same age and, yes, 44 years ago, we both supported AuH20 in '64. I think a lot of idealistic kids did, given the way the media of the time portrayed LBJ and most other liberals. We wised up before we ever cast a vote.

  • (Show?)

    what amazed me most on Tuesday as this thing wrapped up was the realization that everyone who wanted to in this country got to cast a vote in a Democratic primary or caucus. every single one of those votes matter, too. even those who voted for Biden or Richardson et al were part of demonstrating that Democrats had great candidates to offer the country, not an insignificant thing when you consider what the poor Rs were stuck with.

    i'm hoping for two things now. one, that Hillary is not the veep (and i think with Caroline Kennedy on the selection committee, Obama can avoid that and not anger all but the loonie fringe of HRC supporters). second, that we'll see the "old" Hillary return, the Hillary who was the Clinton we were most proud of in the 90s and who, for a lot of us, disappeared from site. she can now admit she was wrong to vote for Bush's war and set to work helping Obama on what has to be their #1 joint effort after his election: health care. that would be wonderful to see (and it would also be wonderful to see a doctor...).

  • DanK (unverified)

    I voted for Hillary and supported her. I think she would have made a good president, but in the end, she couldn't beat Obama. He is the better candidate and might end up being a great president.

    I'm ready to move on, and I hope Hillary will make a graceful exit, and not do anything petty to make me regret my support. Other than softening the blow of losing, I don't see anything that would be gained by placing her on the ticket or giving her a position in an Obama administration.

    Consolation prizes are for game show contestants. We've all had the experience of applying for a job we really, really wanted, but didn't get. You just deal with it.

  • Garrett (unverified)

    I'm sitting here kind of thinking in the tone of Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller's Day Off... "Corbell...Corbell...Corbell."

    i'm hoping for two things now. one, that Hillary is not the veep (and i think with Caroline Kennedy on the selection committee, Obama can avoid that and not anger all but the loonie fringe of HRC supporters).

    T.A. come on man. We've got the first black candidate for President of the United States. Think about that. We've got a woman of Hillary Clinton's magnitude who came up just short. She went for the win and I'm not going to sit around and dwell on what she said over the last few months while she was trying to win the nomination. If she ends up becoming the Veep nominee I'm going to start counting down the days until I get to watch her absolutely shred whichever moron John McCain ends up picking in a Veep debate. I'm going to savor every moment of it. Remember Benson vs. Quayle. If you've forgot...


  • Rulial (unverified)

    Oh, my, if I were held responsible for the political views I held at age 16...

    I agree with T.A.: Clinton needs Obama to win the election to advance her policy agenda. Perhaps one way that Obama and Clinton to move beyond the animosity of the general election would be to start thinking about what sort of legislation our Democratically-controlled Congress might send to a Democratic president.

    The country needs an Obama victory this fall! I don't think it's any exaggeration that the first two Bush terms have seriously maimed America and I'm scared to death to contemplate a third. Much more is at stake here than three people's egos.

  • Douglas K (unverified)

    I've been an Obama supporter since Edwards dropped out. And I appreciate Hillary staying in the race until it was over. For one thing, it meant Oregon's primary actually counted for something this year. In fact, every state's did -- except for Florida and Michigan, who voluntarily gave up their delegates in an ill-conceived effort to jump the line.

    Personally, I hope Hillary will campaign hard for Obama. If she does so, I wouldn't mind seeing her as Senate Majority Leader -- no matter who wins the White House in November.

  • (Show?)

    Re: Hillary as VP - a force that great, you don't waste at state funerals. And the US Senate needs another Lion(ess).

    I'm not particularly fond of Tom Vilsack (a little too DLC for me), but seems to me that he'd be as good as anybody, there. You're not going to get Al Gore (who, let's face it, was the best, most active VP most of us have ever had in our lifetime) done, and some could argue that having him gone from the Senate made it not worth the trade-off.

    And while I love the thought of debate between, say, Hillary Clinton vs. Mitt Romney or whatever schlub Mc100YearPresence puts up, remember, Lloyd Bentsen pimpslapped Dan Quayle, and made the difference in a hard-fought genera... Wait. Right. It made no difference, and we got 4 years of Bush pere, which made it possible for the Dark Ages we now enjoy with Bush fils.

    I'm also calling my shot: Laurence Tribe as the next Supreme.

  • Andrea in Portland (unverified)

    OBAMA SUPPORTERS UNITE! ANYONE WHO DID NOT ENDORSE OBAMA I.E. RON WYDEN, MUST BE DEFEATED. In calling his office to voice this opinion, I'm met with laughs at the thought of his defeat! I offer the following, if Ron were a real Progressive, why didn't he endorse the only anti-war candidate still running for the Presidential election? Hillary's voting record was just like Bush's, war, cluster bombs, Kyle-Lieberman, bankruptcy bill, all against the best interests of the American people. In other words she's a Republican. Candidates like Ron refuse to help the problem with Hillary refusing to leave the race, instead enabled her to continue, RON DID NOTHING! Replace all the this candidates with REAL PROGRESSIVES! No, I don't think O bama is a real Progressive, but since Kucinich is no longer in the race.....

  • Matthew Sutton (unverified)

    Andrea, I too had hoped Sen. Wyden would come out earlier for Obama. I was writing to Wyden and all our Dem office holders months and months ago urging all of them to do so. But I think he saw the big picture and took a longer and more practical view of the situation.

    After Iowa and Super Tuesday, the writing was on the wall that Barack was going to be the nominee. I think Wyden sensed that it was more important to preserve a strong relationship with his fellow Senators, including Senator Clinton who he would be continuing to work with in the Senate. Since Sen. Wyden has some very important legislative proposals, this was critical.

    Since Oregon was a fairly easy victory for Barack, I don't think that Sen. Wyden burned any bridges with the Obama camp by staying on the sidelines.

    So although it would have been awesome to have Wyden's endorsement earlier, I can't agree with your sentiment to punish him at this point. He is a progressive who has been a strong advocate for the environment and ending the War in Iraq, etc. Sen. Wyden should be judged on his own record and not on the timing of his presidential endorsement.

  • yesterday (unverified)

    Wyden did endorse Obama...

  • Matthew Sutton (unverified)

    After hearing so many comments about "fighting this all the way to the convention", it is great to see that Hillary will instead be advancing unity so we can focus on our differences with McCain. This is great news!

    Hillary and her supporters waged a tough and hard fought campaign. I can see from this move that she is wiser and cares about our Country more than her critics have given her credit for. Well done!

  • becky (unverified)

    Over the last 6 mos to a year I have not had any use much for Dean as the Chair of the DNC. I thought his leadership was poor to non-existent and that the Florida -Michigan mess should have been cleaned up before it got to where it is. I also don’t think that the DNC has shown any ability to change with the times. The fact that they still have super-delegates that were appointed to help the Jesse Jackson campaign shows just how out of touch they still are. Not for appointing them - but for keeping them long after there need to be there.

    Now for Dean to be calling on Clinton to end her campaign shows just what a jerk he is. Should she end it, probably? Should she end it before all of her delegates are elected, no. Why? Because they were committed and hard working individuals that deserve to be in Denver. Just like to Bema folks do. She can call for unity and withdraw after all the delegate selections are done. That will bring less division to this campaign than to throw them under the bus now during the final delegate seletions.

    If Obama “got it” he would step up and say finish the process. I am the guy and I don’t need more victims. Then he would be in a great position to court the support and votes of those individuals while they are all in Denver. They might be more inclined to move over with energy if he shows a gracious attitude towards them now. Before Denver not after.

  • becky (unverified)

    so sorry for the typos in my post - it is early in the day and this keyboard sucks at home.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)

    Nice trolling by "Andrea in Portland"--"Ron Wyden must be defeated" indeed. Personally, I'm more concerned about defeating Gordo.

  • KJBEugene (unverified)

    I've been regularly frustrated by Hillary this primary, but I'm glad that she's ready to help unify the party and focus on beating McCain. I never really thought she'd take it to Denver; she still has four more years in the Senate to get through, not to mention Bill's legacy to think about. She has some bridges to mend, but this is a very good first step, and if President Obama wants to appoint her as a health care czar, so much the better.

    Glad to see I'm not the only one who's wondering where Corbell is. This isn't snark, either; I'd really like to hear his thoughts right now.

  • Lani (unverified)

    I'm glad Hillary's decided to end her campaign. Her campaign fought long and hard. Her negative campaigning might have allowed Obama to address those things early and ahead of the fall campaign.

    I'd like to see her as head of Health and Human Services in the Obama administration, if we're going to state our "wish lists"

  • Garrett (unverified)

    Candidates like Ron refuse to help the problem with Hillary refusing to leave the race, instead enabled her to continue, RON DID NOTHING! Replace all the this candidates with REAL PROGRESSIVES!

    I love writing like this. It reminds me of those bible tracts people hand you on the street. "Do the right thing or BURN IN HELL." It's like they just lift the typing style off a right wing blog.

    Ron is becoming a power broker in the Senate. If you had two co-workers going for the same position you wouldn't go and tell all your other co-workers who you wanted to get the promotion. I am completely OK with Wyden waiting until all the primary campaigns are over before offering an endorsement. In hindsight it was the right thing to do.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)

    Commmon Sense and clean living have finally prevailed. Lets bury the preverbial hatchet - not a real one in someone elses head. Anrera needs to take a chill pill and realize it is time to move on and not be so uptight and anal about it.

    Grandpa McCain and the repugnicans are the real enemy we should now go forth to defeat.

  • (Show?)

    As a Hillary supporter, I am disappointed that she lost. I felt her experience would have served us well as our president, correcting the wrongs we've experienced over the last seven years. And I was really looking forward to true universal health care.

    I was a huge Dean supporter in 2004 and remember clearly the sadness and disappointment when he lost. You believe so fervently in the ability of your chosen candidate to affect the change we so desperately seek for our country.

    So what do you do? First off, don't listen to the initial platitudes of your opponents supporters, because, let's face it, they don't really mean it. They just want your vote for their candidate. Otherwise, they would have supported your candidate. Get together with some other supporters and commiserate a bit. It helps to be with like minded friends.

    Take solace in the fact that there are literally millions of like minded US voters that feel the exact same way as you do and remember this very important fact... we are all on the same team. I remember very clearly Howard Dean working his butt off to help get Kerry elected. I fully expect Hillary to do the same. We, as her supporters, should do the same.

    Meanwhile, my fellow Hillary supporters, relax and reflect on a historic campaign. Let's get through this weekend and then let's follow Dean's and very soon, Hillary's example and get the presumtive Democratic Party nominee, Barack Obama, elected as the next President of our United States.

    See you at the 1st CD convention this weekend!

  • naschkatzehussein (unverified)

    Barack Obama has the prerogative to select his own team including the vice president just as the white guy nominees have in the past. Clinton is now actively campaigning for the second position through her surrogates. This is not only bad protocol, but if selected, sends a message that Obama is not going to be the leader we expect him to be when he can be dictated to and held hostage by the candidate he defeated. Even today the report is that Hillary Clinton has not yet had the decency to call Barack Obama and tell him that she will be conceding on Saturday: he learned it from the media just as the rest of us did.

    However, I don't fear because as someone wrote above Caroline Kennedy is part of the vetting team. The Clintons will not pass muster. Bill Clinton will balk at revealing the details of his business dealings or the names of the donors to his library. Obama's team has said that there is no short or long list now and they don't expect to announce a running mate until at least July. I hope it is late July or early August.

  • trishka (unverified)

    here's my fantasy situation for the new administration:

    edwards as veep. hillary clinton as secretary of health. clinton and ron wyden work together to refine his healthcare plan and get it passed, then President Obama will sign it into law.

    heh. a girl can dream, can't she? ;-)

  • 2008 (unverified)

    Obama/Sebelius vs. McCain/Crist here we come.

  • pdxatheist (unverified)

    First off, don't listen to the initial platitudes of your opponents supporters, because, let's face it, they don't really mean it. They just want your vote for their candidate. Otherwise, they would have supported your candidate.

    i know you're disappointed because your candidate lost, but moses, this is short-sighted and wide of the mark. just because we disagreed on who was the strongest candidate for our party in the general (before i switched to obama i was in hrc's camp, and i vigorously supported her here at blueoregon despite being vilified and called a moron, a traitor and a bloodthirsty warmonger), that doesn't mean the only reason we reach out is because we want your vote.

    of course we want your vote. but the reaching out, believe it or not, comes because the guy we favored defeated a respected opponent (at least those of us not in the ABC crowd respect her) and we genuinely commiserate with her committed and passionate supporters, who must now come to grips with the fact that hillary will not be the next president of the united states. millions upon millions of people strongly believed she would be the best nominee from the democratic party, but now that the primary brawling is over, hopefully we'll remember that we're all on the same team.

    it's not low-brow, slimy vote pandering. it's commiseration, and realization that many of our progressive brothers and sisters are feeling hurt right now. at least that's what it is for me. i can't speak for anyone else.

  • Chris W (unverified)

    I too am happy that she's moving on, although I'm flummoxed that she couldn't have been more gracious on Tuesday night. And it was close to reprehensible that her campaign was advocating that the DNC break its owns rules and seat the Michigan and Florida delegations without penalty. That said, having her as the VP candidate could be exciting, although it doesn't seem likely. Next best: I think she'd make a great Attorney General (I think that would be better than a Supreme Court appointment). She could grow in one of the most important cabinet roles and position herself for 2016.

    What about Bill Richardson as the VP candidate (I haven't heard his name mentioned, but he seems like he's got the resume and chops)

  • Eric Parker (unverified)

    Obama/Richardson vs. McCain/Romney...but thats for another day.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)

    "What about Bill Richardson as the VP candidate"

    I would support that notion. He is the only person whom the North Koreans wouldn't have a extended snit fit over if he went to visit them one day and had a nice 'chat' for fun.

  • Chris W (unverified)

    PS--I like Trishka's fantasy situation, with the exception of Edwards as the VP candidate. One of the jobs of the vp is to help the ticket get elected, and, as much as I like John Edwards, the reality is that he wasn't able to help Kerry-Edwards carry his home state in 2004. He'd also be a good Attorney General.

  • (Show?)

    Moses Ross: So what do you do? First off, don't listen to the initial platitudes of your opponents supporters, because, let's face it, they don't really mean it. They just want your vote for their candidate. Otherwise, they would have supported your candidate.

    Hi, Moses. I certainly understand where you're at right now, but I do have to take exception to the idea that Obama supporters "don't really mean" our "platitudes".

    Had Hillary won like she'd planned to, I would be her supporter right now. In fact, in such an alternate universe, I'm nearly certain I would have been blogging away scolding Naderites and purity trolls for petulantly trying to find ways to undermine her.

    Instead, however, I apparently have to remind you that this nation can't afford a third Bush term. And further, that loyalty goes both ways. You don't get to say others have to support you if you win, but that you don't have to support the winner if you don't. Keep that counterproductive attitude up, and pretty soon, nobody will respect you. Honest democratic competition means respecting the will of the majority.

    In my life, I've supported plenty of candidates who weren't my first choice. Please suck it up and do likewise. I know you can.

  • (Show?)
    One of the jobs of the vp is to help the ticket get elected, and, as much as I like John Edwards, the reality is that he wasn't able to help Kerry-Edwards carry his home state in 2004.

    John Edwards might be a stronger VP candidate than you think.

  • Ms. Mel Harmon (unverified)

    I am so relieved. I truly feared that Clinton might take this to the convention, which would have pretty much ruined our chances in the fall. I've never been so happy to be wrong.

    I haven't been pleased with many things about Hillary Clinton of late, but with this decision she regains some of my respect. Thank you, Senator Clinton, for doing the right thing and helping to unite the party.

    And thank you, Garrett, for the trip down memory lane. That Quayle smackdown gets better with every about a soundbite!

  • (Show?)

    Sorry, Steven, I slipped going through the five stages of grief. I'm ok now.

  • Doug in PDX (unverified)

    I'm relieved that she is giving some ground, but I'm not all the way there just yet.

    I've not yet seen her actually concede. Suspending her campaign really means not going after it, but it also means not surrendering it either. This, coupled with her making it very clear she is not asking for the VP slot, suggests to me she is basically saying the Presidency will have to be taken from her, not surrendered by her.

    Strong, but also not exactly supportive. It leaves me with this sense of denied entitlement that's divisive, if low level.

    Don't like the feel of it. Not one bit.

    There is also this talk of respect for her voters, as if she commands some entitlement that other losers don't command. Sure, it was a close race, but at the end of the day, we end up with a nominee and everybody else in the party either supporting them, or starting off on their own efforts.

    I find this in-between, "something might happen", or more likely, "I need to get something out of this; namely, money at the least!" behavior not ok.

    Sorry. I like the Clintons. Have supported them regularly, even when I thought they were not doing things in ways that made sense.

    I can't support this. It's claiming something they have no claim to.

    I include both because we've seen some statements and behavior out of both of them that resonates this way. Most recently are the request for waivers on elements of the vetting process.

    Obama would be nuts to entertain this stuff.

    On his win, his night, she denied him legimitacy and that's just not cool. Even if it's hard to come so close, the adult, Statesmen like thing to do, is to suck it up, play your role and build the movement, knowing the people are behind it as fully as they can be.

  • (Show?)

    May, I've explained this so many times over the last few days that I think I need to put together a cop and paste of it.

    Suspending the campaign is what candidates do - especially if they have debts to be paid. This allows Senator Clinton to continue raising funds to pay the $20 million in debts she has. Other than the large loans from herself, the rest is primarily to small businesses, colleges and universities, and school districts.

    WWeek just wrote an article about what is owed just here in Oregon to schools (more than $40,000, not including amounts about to be invoiced).

    It's very important that Senator Clinton have the time to be able to raise the funds and pay off all those debts. I know she doesn't want to just walk away from those debts and leave those businesses and schools in the lurch - contrary to what some may think, she does give a damn about things like that.

    My fellow Obama supporters need to just take a moment, take a deep breath, and then get into general election mode. We're all in this together - we're all Democrats, progressives, and independents looking for change in the White House. We disagreed on who better to do that, but now we've chosen our nominee and it is time to work together. Continuing the attacks on Senator Clinton just pushes us apart.

  • (Show?)

    Jenni is absolutely right.

    Shortly before 11:00 pm Weds. night I got an e-mail from the Clinton campaign, over Hillary Clinton's signature, that said this, in part:

    On Saturday, I will extend my congratulations to Senator Obama and my support for his candidacy. This has been a long and hard-fought campaign, but as I have always said, my differences with Senator Obama are small compared to the differences we have with Senator McCain and the Republicans.

    I have said throughout the campaign that I would strongly support Senator Obama if he were the Democratic Party's nominee, and I intend to deliver on that promise.


    I will be speaking on Saturday about how together we can rally the party behind Senator Obama. The stakes are too high and the task before us too important to do otherwise.

    There is nothing ambiguous about this that I can see. The media focus on a technical "concession" serves the media's interests, not those of Democrats or the Obama campaign.

  • (Show?)


    And it's something we have a lot of work to do on - that's obvious by the amount of fighting still going on between supporters on the two sides. I see way too much of it on the listservs, and it is driving me crazy.

    The primary is over - we know who the two main candidates will be. There will likely be representatives from the minor parties on the ballot, but we all know that either the Democrat or the Republican is going to win in November.

    That means on the progressive side there is no longer them vs. us, only us. The "them" is now McCain and the Republicans. We need to start acting that way.

  • John Skelter (unverified)

    on Saturday...

    Slip your pitful endorsement in under the radar on a Saturday.

    Yep, that's party unity.

  • (Show?)

    Now, let's see, when is the big t.v. politics day? (Hint, it comes the morning after Saturday).

  • John Adams (unverified)

    Obama is gonna lose so badly. I'm predicting that Mccain is gonna get 40 states. It's gonna be a landslide!

  • (Show?)

    Keep dreaming - McSnooze'll be lucky to get 150 electoral votes.

    And Hillary shouldn't officially concede until she can retire that campaign debt.

    I had thought Obama offered to help her out of his primary money, since he can't use it once the Convention is on. ?

  • Lani (unverified)

    Campaign finance laws wouldn't allow Obama to pay off Hillary's debts. There are mechanisms for that and I think Chris is right in how she may suspend her campaign to do that.

    Most of the problems with this campaign season can be traced to the Democratic leadership.

    --Failure to address FL & MI. The RNC cut the delegates in half and announced it so that people could vote that way in FL. The "votes don't count, votes do count" was a poor compromise.

    --Scheduling the convention in late August. Sounds like a good idea for more publicity closer to the general in Nov. The reality is that it allowed for a too-long campaign. A convention in June or July as they had in the past would've let both candidates have their appearance, votes, and might've made a more exciting television event with a united party in plenty of time.

    <h2>--Superdelegate system has shown itself to be useless in this campaign. They were designed to avoid problems in unifying the party. The reality is that most waited to get an obvious candidate to endorse and acted counter to their responsibilities as party leaders. They should cut the SD numbers from 20% of the total to 5 - 10%.</h2>
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