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Your politics briefing: Look out, glass ceiling — Clinton clinches

Hillary Clinton, campaigning in Lynwood, Calif., on Monday,

Hillary Clinton, campaigning in Lynwood, Calif., on Monday, June 6, 2016, reached the 2,383-delegate threshold Monday night as previously uncommitted delegates pledged to support her, according to The Associated Press. Credit: TNS / Mark Boster

The presumptive nominee: Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton has won her second-time-around quest for the Democratic presidential nomination, capping an unexpectedly bruising fight with Bernie Sanders over nearly 14 months.

She reached the 2,383-delegate threshold Monday night — one day earlier than expected — as previously uncommitted delegates pledged to support her, according to The Associated Press. Delegate-counters at ABC, NBC and CBS agreed.

Campaigning in California on the eve of that state’s primary, Clinton didn’t quite claim victory. “According to the news, we are on the brink of a historic, unprecedented moment,” she said. “But we still have work to do, don’t we?”

She spoke about that ultimate goal earlier in the day.

“Having a woman president will make a great statement, a historic statement about what kind of country we are, about what we stand for,” she said.

Whatever delegates she wins Tuesday in the final big round of primaries, including New Jersey and California, will pad her majority. But other uncertainties remain:

Will Sanders ease away from his vow to carry his fight into the convention with a hope his campaign still clung to after the AP call — that he can persuade a massive number of Clinton superdelegates to abandon her? Will his supporters come around to her for the general election battle against Donald Trump?

Clinton will appeal for their support when she speaks Tuesday night at the same Brooklyn Navy Yard venue where she and Sanders held a fiery debate in April. Before the week is over, Clinton is expected to get the formal endorsement of President Barack Obama.

That would step up pressure on Sanders to bow out — a decision that could be even harder if he pulls out a win in California, where polls have showed a close contest.

Sanders plans to go home to Burlington, Vermont, after Tuesday’s primaries to think it over.

“Let’s assess where we are after tomorrow before we make statements based on speculation,” Sanders said Monday, when asked if he is willing to endorse Clinton in the coming weeks.

Meantime a relevant Twitter hashtag percolates: #StillSanders -- and his campaign surrogate/biographer Jonathan Tasini is, for the moment, moving towards #BernieorBust

See Newsday’s delegate tracker here.

The take-away: Party of one

The major-party nominees will offer a study in contrasts, writes Newsday’s Dan Janison.

Trump will have carried out a party coup, while entrenched Democrat Hillary Clinton will have survived one.

Trump: Hit judge harder

More Republicans took Trump to task Monday for attacking a federal judge presiding over a Trump University case on the basis of his Mexican heritage.

Among them: Sen. Marco Rubio, Reps. Peter King and Lee Zeldin, Gov. John Kasich and Ben Carson. See the story by Newsday’s William Goldschlag.

But Trump is rebuffing calls to back down or at least move on. In a conference call with campaign surrogates, Bloomberg News reports, he called for intensified attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel — and on reporters covering the story.

“The people asking the questions — those are the racists,” Trump said. He overruled as “stupid” a memo Sunday from one of his staffers telling the surrogates to get off the subject.

Mark-Viverito calls attack ‘hateful’

New York City’s top elected Latina official, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, held a news conference outside Trump Tower to denounce Trump’s remarks about the judge as “hateful, xenophobic and bigoted.”

The event was organized with the Democratic National Committee, reports Newsday’s Emily Ngo.

The campaign that isn’t

Trump is “a candidate without a campaign,” NBC News reports. Republicans trying to help describe a bare-bones effort debilitated by infighting, a lack of staff for basic functions, minimal coordination with allies and a message subject to Trump’s momentary whims.

Its shortcomings became even clearer last week, with flat-footed responses to blowups over the judge, new documents alleging Trump University was a scam, and Clinton’s forceful national security speech ripping Trump as unfit to be commander-in-chief.

Trump dismissed such criticisms in a tweet: “I am getting bad marks from certain pundits because I have a small campaign staff. But small is good, flexible, save money and number one!”

Garden State mates

Chris Christie’s political alliance with Trump has done little to improve support for either on the New Jersey governor’s home turf, Newsday’s Laura Figueroa reports. But elsewhere, both may benefit some from Christie’s presence as a sidekick.

What else is happening:

  • Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi personally asked Trump for a donation around the time her office weighed joining a Trump University investigation, The Associated Press reports. She got $25,000. Her office stayed out of the probe ...
  • Even as Trump and Gingrich are clashing, casino magnate and megadonor Sheldon Adelson is pushing the former House speaker as a running mate, The Guardian reports ...
  • Final results in Puerto Rico’s Democratic primary aren’t in because the island’s election commission took Monday off. With two-thirds counted, Clinton had 60% to Sanders’ 39% ...
  • Trump again received a tax break on his Trump Tower penthouse that’s supposed to go only to those making $500,000 or less a year. Both the Trump campaign and New York City said it was an error when that showed up in March ...
  • State Department lawyers argue that gathering 450,000 pages of records requested by the Republican National Committee for three former Clinton aides would take 75 years, according to CNN ...
  • Trump’s partner in an Azerbaijan real estate project is the son of a government official the U.S. suspects of laundering money for Iran’s military, The Associated Press reports ...
  • A 1984 Washington Post profile of Trump is getting new readers for the part where he offers to negotiate nuclear arms deals with the Soviet Union. “It would take an hour-and-a-half to learn everything there is to learn about missiles. ... I think I know most of it anyway,” he said ...
  • It's hard to recognize her voice but Hillary Clinton's 1969 Wellesley graduation speech has been released and worth a listen...

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