The Associated Press just reported that Hillary Clinton will concede tonight that Barack Obama has the delegates necessary to claim the Democratic nomination. The report, citing unnamed campaign officials, said she will stop short of quitting the race but will lay-off campaign staff and otherwise put her campaign on hold.

Montana and South Dakota today become the last two states to cast votes in the 2008 presidential primaries. California might have been the third, but the state – see previous post – decided to move its presidential primary up to February. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

With the final votes being counted, the morning news is full of speculation that Obama will claim victory tonight in a speech in St. Paul, Minnesota. The speech, it is presumed, would follow endorsements from previously uncommitted superdelegates. Meanwhile, Clinton was heading home to New York City for what some supporters were calling a farewell speech.

I think way back to Iowa in January and Texas in March, where we saw what is required of the candidates, day after day – the crowds and the handshaking and the speeches. In Iowa, the candidates scheduled as many as five events in a single day.

How do they manage to keep themselves energized month after month, knowing that a single gaffe could destroy their chances? I have no idea.