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Clinton Suspends Presidential Bid, Pledges Full Support for Obama

By VOA News
07 June 2008

Hillary Clinton has ended her political campaign and declared her full support for Barack Obama in this year's U.S. presidential election.

Speaking Saturday to thousands of her fervent supporters, Clinton called for an all-out effort by the Democratic Party to elect Obama, who has clinched the party's presidential nomination on Tuesday, after the last two state primary elections.

Loud cheers and applause interrupted Clinton throughout her half-hour speech in Washington, at the National Building Museum, a Civil War-era landmark.

A few boos were mixed in with the cheers when Clinton first mentioned Obama's name, but she called repeatedly for unanimous support for him. The 46-year-old Illinois senator will be the first African-American selected by a major political party as its candidate for the White House.

With her husband, former President Bill Clinton, standing nearby in the crowd, Senator Clinton said all party activists must strongly support Obama through the general election in November that will choose President George W. Bush's successor.

As Clinton told her supporters over and over, "We must elect Barack Obama president," the few boos heard earlier switched to enthusiastic cheers.

Clinton said more than a year of intense campaigning for the Democratic Party's nomination has shown that Americans are ready to elect as president either a woman or an African-American.

"The dreams we share," Clinton said, "are worth fighting for."

Adopting one of Obama's chief campaign slogans - "Yes we can!" - Clinton said she stands together with her former opponent in opposing the Republican Party's presumptive nominee for the presidency, Senator John McCain.

Many of Clinton's supporters are urging Obama to choose Clinton as his vice-presidential running mate. Clinton says she is not actively seeking the position, but has indicated she would consider it.

The former first lady, who remains a U.S. senator from the state of New York, had hoped to become the first woman presidential candidate from either of the two main U.S. political parties. She pledged her continued commitment to the issues that animated her campaign, including advancing women's opportunities for full equality in American political life.

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