Obama: I will be the Democratic nominee

WASHINGTON (CNN) — In what he called a “defining moment for our nation,” Sen. Barack Obama on Tuesday became the first African-American to head the ticket of a major political party.

Obama’s steady stream of superdelegate endorsements, combined with the delegates he received from Tuesday’s primaries, put him past the 2,118 threshold, CNN projects.

“Tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another — a journey that will bring a new and better day to America,” he said.

“Tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States.”

Obama’s rally was at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota — the same arena which will house the 2008 Republican National Convention in September.

Speaking in New York, Sen. Hillary Clinton, congratulated Obama for his campaign, but she did not concede the race nor discuss the possibility of running as vice president.

There were reports earlier in the day that she would concede, but her campaign said she was “absolutely not” prepared to do so.

“This has been a long campaign, and I will be making no decisions tonight,” she said.

Barack Obama clinches the Democratic Party nomination.

Congratulations, Senator Obama!

Senator Clinton, I do not see a VP slot in the near future for you, and I obviously do not think that you should continue to fight.

In the interest of Party unity, I am going to try to stop bashing you … but you’re not making it easy.

Senator Clinton, I think you made a serious mistake tonight. On the night that your opponent clinches the nomination, you only offered a cursory congratulations, and kept the focus of your speech on yourself, not on the issues, and not on the Party, and not how we defeat McCain in November … it smacked of sour grapes.

You came across as a poor loser, and this is not going to sit well with many Democrats, and especially not Senator Obama. As such, I would be stunned if you were offered the VP slot.

One of your supporters, like Evan Bayh or Ed Rendell, yes. But you, Senator Clinton? No.

I think that you will be of much better value to the Party and to the nation as a major power-broker in the Senate. I think that you still have an extremely important role to play in the political scene, and I, for one, will never consider this year to be your “political obituary”. Keep your focus on universal healthcare and getting it passed through the Congress; and if/when a Supreme Court seat opens up … the do everything you can to ensure that we get another progressive justice, rather than another conservative justice who will continue to erode our rights.

You’re not through … you’re just not Presidential material.

Now let’s bring the Party back together, solidly behind Senator Obama. Let’s march forward, and donkey-kick some Republican elephant butt!