This Day with George Stephanopoulos

ABC Washington Correspondent George Stephanopoulos told a packed house in King Chapel on May 8 that the race for a Democratic nominee essentially ended after the North Carolina and Indiana primaries— a portent of the actual finish that came nearly a month later.

“The Democratic race right now is over,” he told the crowd of 850 during the Delta Phi Rho Lecture. “I think that Tuesday night was the decisive tipping point. Mathematically … it’s simply not possible for Sen. Clinton to catch Sen. Obama.”

But he didn’t think it was over for Sen. Clinton. A “dream team” ticket of Obama-Clinton, he said, has powerful logic and could make history by placing the first African-American and the first woman in the White House.

One way or another, he said, they were headed toward a historic election.

“You’re either going to have the first woman president,” said Stephanopoulos, “the first African-American president, or the first president to get elected at a time when he would defy every historical indicator.”

Asked if Iowa’s firstin- the-nation caucuses are secure, Stephanopoulos said yes. “You got more states involved—you couldn’t have done better.”

Over the course of the 40-minute speech, Stephanopoulos broke down the successful and not-sosuccessful strategies of both candidates, offering insight into a primary season that had been hard to grasp.

“This is a year,” said Stephanopoulos, “where, fundamentally, people will be voting for change.”

“Whoever takes office on Jan. 20, 2009, is going to face an array of challenges unlike any president who’s walked into the Oval Office since Franklin Roosevelt,” he said.

A former high school and college wrestler, Stephanopoulos praised Cornell’s wrestling heritage and said he was at home in the 1882 chapel, being the son, grandson, nephew, and godson of Greek Orthodox priests.