The Clinton Political Machine Changes Mode

WASHINGTON – Hillary Rodham Clinton suspended her pioneering campaign for the presidency on Saturday and summoned supporters to use “our energy, our passion, our strength” to put Barack Obama in the White House.

“I endorse him and throw my full support behind him,” said the former first lady, delivering the strong affirmation that her one-time rival and other Democratic leaders hoped to hear after a bruising campaign.

Amid tears from her supporters, Clinton issued a call for unity that emphasized the cultural and political milestones that she and Obama, the first black to secure a presidential nomination, represent.
“I will work my heart out to make sure that Senator Obama is our next president,” Clinton told a crowd of about 2,000 at the National Building Museum in Washington. “I ask all of you to join me in working as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me.”

With her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and her daughter, Chelsea, standing to the side of the stage, Clinton said she and Obama shared the same values and goals.

“I endorse him and I throw my full support behind him,” she said. “We will make history together.”

Clinton, a New York senator and former first lady, was once the heavy favorite to become the first female U.S. president. She had resisted calls to pull out of the race for months as the split between their supporters grew wider.

Her mention of Obama’s name drew “boos” from some in the crowd, but she said it was time to put aside their differences and concentrate on winning in November.

“This has been a tough fight, but the Democratic Party is a family, and now it’s time to restore the ties that bind us together and to come together,” she said.

Obama did not appear at the rally, giving Clinton the spotlight for the day. Clinton won more than 17 million votes during the Democratic nominating battle, and Obama has tried to build bridges to her camp ahead of the November campaign.

He watched the speech on a computer over the Internet and tried to call Clinton afterward, an Obama aide said, but did not reach her because she was “understandably” tied up talking to supporters.

Obama said in a statement he was “thrilled and honored” to have Clinton’s support and praised her campaign for shattering barriers for women and inspiring Democratic voters.

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