As Hillary Clinton basks in the glory of claiming the democratic presidential nomination, she and democratic rival Bernie Sanders inched closer to what party loyalists hope will be a period of amicable reconciliation and party unification before the party's convention in late July.
Clinton claimed her party's nomination after primary victories in California, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota, making her the first woman to be the presumptive presidential nominee of a major U.S. political party.
Her democratic rival, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, won North Dakota's and Montana's primary elections.
Despite Clinton's status as the democratic party's presumptive presidential nominee, Sanders is showing few signs of giving up.
In a speech late Tuesday in Santa Monica, California, Sanders told supporters he was determined to stop presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump from winning the White House, barely acknowledging Clinton's triumph.
Sanders promised to "fight hard" to win the last primary election next week in Washington, D.C.
As Sanders publicly expresses his intent to march toward the White House, Sanders is reportedly laying off about half his campaign staff, mostly members of the advance team. Staffers who are not involved in next week's primary in D.C. or the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia next month will also lose their jobs.
A small group of people are expected to help negotiate peace between the Clinton and Sanders camps, including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. Sanders and Reid will meet Thursday, amid growing calls for Sanders to end his campaign. Reid has not called for Sanders to quit, but he said last week that "sometimes you have to give up."
Meanwhile, Senator Bill Nelson of Florida said Wednesday Sanders should "stand down." Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania has called on Democrats to "come together and unify." Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire said she would like to see Sanders wind down his candidacy sooner rather than later.
In congratulating Sanders on his primary victories, Clinton delivered a message of party unification. “We believe that cooperation is better than conflict, unity is better than division, empowerment is better than resentment, and bridges are better than walls," she said.
After her primary victories, Clinton addressed a crowd of screaming fans waving American flags in Brooklyn, New York.
For the first time in our history, a woman will be a major party’s nominee for President of the United States. pic.twitter.com/4iLojpuPj8— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 8, 2016
President Obama called both democratic candidates Tuesday, congratulating Clinton on winning the necessary delegates to secure the nomination. He also thanked Sanders for mobilizing millions of Americans and bringing attention to issues such as economic inequality.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump also spoke Tuesday to an enthusiastic crowd. He attacked Clinton, accusing her of "selling access" to the State Department when she was secretary.
The sharp-tongued Trump also said Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, have "turned the politics of personal enrichment into an art form for themselves."
Trump said his goal is to bring people together and he promised to never back down from a fight or let his supporters down. “Together we accomplished what nobody thought was absolutely possible. And you know what that is. We’re only getting started and it’s going to be beautiful. Remember that," he said.
Tuesday's primary elections were the last major primaries before the Republican and Democratic party conventions in July.