Democratic leaders, like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, have been saying for some time now that if the presidential race did not end on its own they'd work to bring it to a conclusion. On Wednesday morning, they made what is thus far their most definitive public move in that direction.
The three joined with West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, who heads the Democratic Governors Association, to issue a statement that congratulates the presidential candidates and, more important, lays down a marker: "Democrats must now turn our full attention to the general election," the statement says.
Reid, Pelosi, Dean and Manchin then exhort those superdelegates who still remain uncommitted to make their endorsements public by the end of this week "so that our party can stand united." (They have no actual power to compel the superdelegates to endorse, however.)
The full, unedited statement:
We have come to the end of an exciting primary and caucus process -- the voters have spoken. As the Democratic leaders of the Senate, House of Representatives, the Governors and the Democratic National Committee we commend all of the participants of the 2008 primary process, especially Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, for making this such a transformational election. Because of the enthusiasm our candidates have inspired, our party has brought record numbers of voters to the polls, gained millions of newly registered Democrats and now has advantages in states many thought were difficult to win. We are grateful to the millions of Independents and Republicans who have crossed over to vote for a Democratic candidate for President.
Democrats must now turn our full attention to the general election. To that end, we are urging all remaining uncommitted super delegates to make their decisions known by Friday of this week so that our party can stand united and begin our march toward reversing the eight years of failed Bush/McCain policies that have weakened our country.
We once again congratulate all of the candidates for their leadership and dedication to providing this country with a New Direction. We look forward to working with them and with all Democrats to win the White House, congressional seats and state capitals so we can deliver the change the American people deserve and demand.