Barack Obama captured the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday, capping a rapid rise from political obscurity to become the first black to lead a major US party into race for the White House. A surge of support from uncommitted delegates helped give Obama the 2,118 votes he needed to clinch the nomination and defeat Clinton.
Hillary Clinton congratulated Obama after he clinched the nomination, and told a cheering crowd of supporters in New York City that she would work for party unity.
Obama will be crowned the Democratic nominee at the convention in August and will face Republican John McCain in November’s election to choose a successor to President George W Bush.
Obama’s win over Clinton, projected by US networks, came in one of the closest and longest nomination fights in recent US political history. Five months of voting concluded on Tuesday night with votes in Montana, won by Obama, and South Dakota, won by Clinton.
Hillary Clinton told New York members of Congress she would be open to becoming Obama’s vice presidential running mate, and her backers began to turn up the pressure on Obama to pick her as his No 2.