House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., appeared ready to call off the Democratic primary race Tuesday night and declare former Vice President Joe Biden the victor.
In a conversation with NPR as the results were coming in, Clyburn – who already has endorsed Biden – said that if Biden were to sweep the six contests, it would be best for the party to put an end to the primary race, debates and all.
While Sanders prevailed in North Dakota and the results in Washington State remain too close to call, Biden won decisively in Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, and Idaho – leaving insiders to speculate that Clyburn remains committed to implementing his plan.
Significantly, Clyburn isn’t alone in his belief that the Democrats need to wrap the nomination process up ASAP.
“This is all about November, these voters want to shut this thing down,” famed Democratic strategist James Carville said Tuesday night on MSNBC. “Our mission as a party is to defeat Donald Trump.”
Clyburn’s remarks, meanwhile, made waves overnight. By “trouble,” Clyburn meant negative campaigning that could cause lasting damage to the eventual nominee in the general election. Clyburn specifically pointed to the 1988 Democratic primary race featuring Michael Dukakis and Al Gore that led to then-Vice President George H.W. Bush attacking Dukakis with the now-famous Willie Horton ad.
The elder Bush, who trailed Dukakis according to preliminary polls, ultimately won 40 states in a landslide.
Referring back to that election, Clyburn said: “People will say things that you cannot overcome.”