As Hillary Clinton moves to close the Democratic race, irrespective of winning or losing the California primary next Tuesday, she has demonstrated rare aggression against her Republican rival Donald Trump.
In a widely cited speech this week, Clinton said Trump was “thin-skinned”, “unprepared” and “temperamentally unfit” for the White House and had a “bizarre fascination with dictators”.
Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, shot back, saying Clinton should be jailed for using a private email server as secretary of state, and, “She doesn't even look presidential.”
There has been a sharp escalation in the war of words between the two, with Trump appearing to be on the defensive, specially over the Trump University lawsuits.
He has upset even his own party leaders, many of whom have yet to embrace him fully, by attacking the federal judge overseeing the lawsuits over his Mexican heritage.
Trump has tried to dodge allegations that his attack on the judge amounted to racism, but he seemed to be one of the few who seemed convinced he has not being blatantly racist.
Gonzalo Curiel, the judge, is of Mexican descent but was born and raised in the US. Trump alleges he has been unfair to him for his plan to build a wall along the southern border.
The Clinton campaign cited Trump’s attacks on the judge as another proof of him not being fit for office, underscoring his already controversial position on Hispanics.
Their war of words obscures the fact that Clinton has still not won the Democratic nomination and faces a very determined rival who wants to stay in the race as long as it takes.
Bernie Sanders, trailing Clinton by a very thin margin in polls in California — 45% to 47.7% in the RealClearPolitics average, is way behind in the count of delegates.
Clinton is merely 69 delegates short of the 2,383 needed to win the Democratic nomination; Sanders is short of the same mark by 835 delegates, with no realistic chance of bridging it.
He can still get there statistically if he were to pick up nearly all the 903 delegates left to be won in the remaining nominating contests in California, New Jersey and New Mexico.
But that’s only a statistical possibility. Clinton is expected to cross the 2,382 threshold on Tuesday with 548 delegates up for grabs — they will share them in proportion to their vote shares.
Trump has already wrapped up the Republican nomination, with 1,239 delegates, two more than needed, but will continue to be called presumptive till his coronation at the convention in July.