Samantha Hayes, at Mount Rushmore
June 3, 2008
When you're last in line, you don't usually get much attention. Especially in politics. At the beginning of the year, all eyes were on Iowa. And as the contests went on, each state, big and small, seemed to enjoy some time in the spotlight. And of course, there's the story of those renegade states, Florida and Michigan. But the very last states scheduled to vote, Montana and South Dakota, didn't seem to mind their place in the process. Primaries in June are just fine.
I think South Dakota in particular is an appropriate state to cap off the season. Reporting from Mount Rushmore has provided not only a majestic and symbolic backdrop, but the chance to talk to people who have come from all over the country to see it. Many of those folks have voted in their own primaries or caucuses and are still very interested in the election. For instance, on Monday we reported that Congressman James Clyburn, a prominent member of Congress, would be backing Obama. A couple walking by at the time stopped to tell me they were from South Carolina and that Clyburn represented their district.
Clyburn's support is a sign that something big is probably going to happen tonight. Not in South Dakota, but probably in New York City where Hillary Clinton is scheduled to deliver her post-primary speech. Her campaign is already refuting a report that Clinton will acknowledge that Barack Obama has the delegates needed for the nomination.
The number he needs to reach is 2,118. Between tonight's two states, 31 pledged delegats are at stake. And that will require a few more superdelegates to pledge their support. I'm already curious as to who will be the one, the last superdelegate, to bring Obama to that total. A South Dakota or Montana superdelegate would be a nice touch.