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Clinton Expected To Claim Victory Tuesday Night, Marking Historical Moment


We're awaiting results from the final six states to vote in this year's primaries from New Jersey to California. Polls closed a short time ago in New Jersey, and we're still waiting for results there. Hillary Clinton was expecting to clinch her party's nomination tonight, but that happened unexpectedly last night after the Associated Press determined she had the support of additional superdelegates. Still, Clinton urged her supporters to turn out and vote today.

NPR's Tamara Keith has been following the Clinton campaign, and she joins us from NPR West in Culver City, Calif. Hi, Tam.


SHAPIRO: So Hillary Clinton is expected to claim victory tonight, and what do we expect to hear from her?

KEITH: She is going to mark this historical moment. It is a big moment in history. She's going to place herself in the sweep of history and also talk about breaking down barriers. That has been a theme of her campaign, and she is going to talk about her presumptive nomination is breaking down yet another barrier. She's also of course going to draw contrasts with Donald Trump, and she's going to thank Bernie Sanders and his supporters for the campaign that they ran.

SHAPIRO: OK, so sort of putting a bow on the primary - that being the case, what is on the line for her in California tonight given that the nomination's no longer in doubt?

KEITH: Party unity. There are a lot of people in California especially who support Bernie Sanders, and if he wins in this state - and it's very much a tossup - then that gives him potential momentum heading into the convention if he wants to do that. It gives him an argument to make about being the best candidate to take on Donald Trump, an argument that he's been making and his campaign says he will make with more intensity to superdelegates following the election results. So it - there isn't a lot of runway left, but there still is potential for momentum.

SHAPIRO: As you look ahead to the unofficial start to the general election, what is next up for Hillary Clinton?

KEITH: Well, possibly an endorsement from President Obama. She did get an endorsement today from Nancy Pelosi, and President Obama - the White House has sort of been hinting that he wants to get out on the campaign trail, that he will weigh in soon. And it's not clear when that will happen.

I think partially that depends on what happens in California and what happens with Senator Sanders. But she already has announced campaign stops next week in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Those of course are two swing states. So you know, there's no rest for the weary. The general election begins in earnest basically tonight.

SHAPIRO: And I guess that weary includes you and the rest of the press corps that's been following her for months already (laughter).


SHAPIRO: NPR's Tamara Keith, thank you.

KEITH: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.