Obama Won’t Wait for Clinton Concession

May 31, 2008 8:57pm

ABC News’ Teddy Davis and Karen Travers Report: The Obama campaign is not worried about the tempest that erupted at a Washington, D.C., hotel on Saturday when top Clinton adviser Harold Ickes threatened to take the fight over Michigan’s delegates all the way to the convention.

"He said ‘reserve the right,’ not that he was going to do it," said Obama adviser Anita Dunn. "They have to get through the next three days. I’ve been there before."

Now that the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee has decided what to do with the Florida and Michigan delegations, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., is 68 delegates away from clinching the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, according to the ABC News delegate estimate.

Obama’s campaign expects to win around 38 delegates in the final three contests of Puerto Rico, South Dakota, and Montana. If he hits that mark, it would leave him 30 superdelegates away from his party’s nod.

The Obama campaign is pushing superdelegates to come on board by Tuesday so that Obama can claim his party’s presidential nomination when he speaks that evening at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

The site was chosen because it is the same place where Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., will formally receive the GOP’s presidential nomination in early September.

Asked if Obama would wait to get a concession call from Clinton before claiming the nomination, Dunn said the onus was on Clinton now that the Democratic Party has firmed up the number of delegates needed to claim the party’s nod.

"He’s not going to wait by the phone like a high-school girl waiting for a date," said Dunn. "That’s not Barack Obama."

"After Tuesday," Dunn added, referring to the final contests of South Dakota and Montana, Clinton "can decide how united she wants this party to be."

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