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Clinton Seeks Way Around Delegate Shortfall

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Every time Barack Obama seems about to claim his party's nomination, Hillary Clinton does something to make it awkward. Yesterday was the day that Obama claimed to have reached a milestone. By winning Oregon, he reached a majority of the pledged delegates. Those are the delegates that voters choose in primaries and caucuses. But he has not quite clinched the nomination, and the awkwardness came in Kentucky, where Obama was crushed.

We begin our coverage with NPR's David Greene and Hillary Clinton's case to keep running.

DAVID GREENE: Hillary Clinton has made herself a new Kentucky home the last few days in towns along the Ohio River, at the Maker's Mark Bourbon distillery, and deep in coal country. She wanted a lopsided victory, and she got one.

Senator HILLARY CLINTON (Democrat, New York; Democratic Presidential Candidate): Thank you, Kentucky.

Unidentified Group: Hillary, Hillary…

GREENE: Clinton celebrated last night at a hotel in Louisville.

Sen. CLINTON: It's not just Kentucky bluegrass that's music to my ears.

(Soundbite of cheering)

Sen. CLINTON: It's the sound of your overwhelming vote of confidence, even in the face of some pretty tough odds.

GREENE: Odds, Clinton said, that might have led people to lose faith.

Sen. CLINTON: You've never given up on me because you know I'll never give up on you.

(Soundbite of applause)

GREENE: Clinton's well aware the delegate math is against her, so she's begun pushing her own math, which counts the outlaw primaries in Florida and Michigan but not some caucus states where Obama won. Clinton vowed to keep campaigning…

Sen. CLINTON: Until we have a nominee, whoever she may be.

(Soundbite of applause)

GREENE: Clinton's supporters are trying to stay optimistic. Mary Moffin's(ph) a nurse in Louisville who saw Clinton at a diner earlier in the day. Mary insisted Clinton's still in the race.

Ms. MARY MOFFIN (Nurse): Yes. You know, here's a small group of supporters and, you know, we're not only ones. So yeah, she's got a chance.

GREENE: As for how Clinton can win…

Ms. MOFFIN: You know, I can't really answer that for her, but so far she's shown the perseverance that she needs, and I'm sure that she'll continue.

GREENE: But if Clinton does have to bow out, Mary said Clinton's already done a lot for women.

Ms. MOFFIN: Regardless of whether she wins this election, becomes a candidate or not, she has shown that women have the fortitude, the knowledge, the expertise and, you know, the wherewithal to be able to do this.

GREENE: All of that, Mary says, opens the door for more women to run for president in the future.

David Greene, NPR News, traveling with the Clinton campaign. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

David Greene
David Greene is an award-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author. He is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, the most listened-to radio news program in the United States, and also of NPR's popular morning news podcast, Up First.