Clinton Concedes Nomination as Supporters Debate Loyalty, Unity

Questions surrounding whether Clinton had embellished the story were particularly embarrassing for her because a central theme to her campaign had been her "experience," arguing that she is ready to answer the 3 a.m. crisis call at the White House.

Video footage contradicted Clinton's account, revealing no visible threat in Tuzla and a brief greeting ceremony on the tarmac there.

Clinton later said she "misspoke" when describing the account.

And on the heels of the Wright controversy, Obama came under fire for remarks perceived as insulting to small town voters, like many in rural Pennsylvania.

"It's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations," Obama told a crowd at a San Francisco fundraiser.

The comments, first posted on The Huffington Post, opened a line of attack against Obama that he was too elitist or out of touch to connect with the white, working class voters who had been flocking to Clinton in recent contests and would be key in battleground Pennsylvania.

Both incidents -- and reaction to the Wright controversy -- played a prominent role when the candidates met for the final time on a debate stage in Philadelphia.

Clinton Wins Pennsylvania, Splits Indiana and North Carolina

After a six-week stretch between contests, Clinton decisively won the Keystone State by nearly a 10-point margin.

"Some people counted me out and said to drop out, but the American people don't quit, and they deserve a president who doesn't quit, either," Clinton told supporters at a victory rally in Philadelphia.

The day after her win, Clinton told Diane Sawyer on "Good Morning America" that the win should send a message to unpledged superdelegates.

"The road to the White House does go through Pennsylvania," she said, adding that the Pennsylvania win proved that she can win the large and swing states considered crucial to a November victory.

The candidates split wins in Indiana and North Carolina on May 6, but in claiming victory Clinton seemed to acknowledge defeat.

Flanked by her husband and daughter, Clinton thanked Indiana voters for their support, but she was not the relentlessly upbeat Clinton of victories past. And in contrast to other primary night parties, Bill Clinton stood unsmiling behind her for much of the speech.

Clinton pledged to "never stop fighting for you," but faced with a decisive Obama victory in North Carolina and uncertain results in Indiana, she also seemed to concede the possibility that she might not become the eventual nominee.

"People are watching this race and they're wondering ... I win, he wins, I win, he wins ... it's so close. That says a lot about how passionate our supporters are ... but I can assure you that no matter what happens, I will work for the nominee of the Democratic Party," she said.

Clinton continued to wage a strong campaign in the close weeks, though attacks on her opponent all but disappeared from her speeches and events.

Instead, Clinton focused on pushing the Democratic National Committee to recognize the disputed votes in Florida and Michigan and racked up impressive, double digit wins in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Puerto Rico.

But even big wins could not sustain Clinton.

After her 41-point win in West Virginia, Obama pushed the bad news off the front pages by picking up the endorsement of former rival John Edwards.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...