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Clinton to End Bid and Endorse Obama

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by zrinkill, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton will endorse Senator Barack Obama on Saturday, bringing a close to her 17-month campaign for the White House, aides said. Her decision came after Democrats urged her Wednesday to leave the race and allow the party to coalesce around Mr. Obama.

    Howard Wolfson, one of Mrs. Clinton’s chief strategists, and other aides said she would express support for Mr. Obama and party unity at an event in Washington that day. One adviser said Mrs. Clinton would concede defeat, congratulate Mr. Obama and proclaim him the party’s nominee, while pledging to do what was needed to assure his victory in November.


    Her decision came after a day of conversations with supporters on Capitol Hill about her future now that Mr. Obama had clinched the nomination. Mrs. Clinton had, in a speech after Tuesday night’s primaries, suggested she wanted to wait before deciding about her future, but in conversations Wednesday, her aides said, she was urged to step aside.


    “We pledged to support her to the end,” Representative Charles B. Rangel, a New York Democrat who has been a patron of Mrs. Clinton since she first ran for the Senate, said in an interview. “Our problem is not being able to determine when the hell the end is.”


    Mrs. Clinton’s decision came as some of her most prominent supporters — including former Vice President Walter F. Mondale — announced they were now backing Mr. Obama. “I was for Hillary — I wasn’t against Obama, who I think is very talented,” Mr. Mondale said. “I’m glad we made a decision and I hope we can unite our party and move forward.”

    One of Mrs. Clinton’s aides said they were told that except for her senior advisers, there was no reason to report to work after Friday, and that they were invited to Mrs. Clinton’s house for a farewell celebration. The announcement from Mrs. Clinton was moved to Saturday to accommodate more supporters who wanted to attend, aides said.


    “Senator Clinton will be hosting an event in Washington, D.C., to thank her supporters and express her support for Senator Obama and party unity,” Mr. Wolfson said.
    Mr. Obama, not waiting for a formal concession from Mrs. Clinton, announced a three-member vice-presidential selection committee that will include Caroline Kennedy, who has become a close personal adviser since endorsing him four months ago.


    With some Democrats promoting Mrs. Clinton as Mr. Obama’s No. 2, his aides said they would move slowly in the search, allowing passions from the bruising primary battles to cool.


    “Now that the interfamily squabble is done,” Mr. Obama said Wednesday evening at a Manhattan fund-raiser, “all of us can focus on what needs to be done in November.” Earlier Wednesday, Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton crossed paths briefly in Washington. As he left the Capitol, Mr. Obama told reporters, “We’re going to have a conversation in the coming weeks.”


    Mr. Obama appeared before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, where, tacking to the right, he described a far tougher series of sanctions he would be willing to impose on Iran than he had outlined heretofore.


    Mrs. Clinton, in a later appearance before the group, moved to reassure an audience clearly nervous about Mr. Obama’s views on Israeli security. “I know that Senator Obama will be a good friend to Israel,” she said.
    Turning to the general election, Senator John McCain of Arizona, Mr. Obama’s likely opponent, and Mr. Obama both said they were interested in holding a series of debates this summer.


    Aides to Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton said that at least some of Mrs. Clinton’s fund-raisers would move to join the Obama campaign. Still, with the realization of defeat still settling in, it appeared that most of her major financial backers were holding back until they got a clearer signal from Mrs. Clinton of her intentions.


    “I’m being aggressively courted by folks in the Obama campaign,” said Mark Aronchick, a Philadelphia lawyer, who is a national finance co-chairman. “I’ve told them all, ‘Everybody relax. Take a deep breath. There’s time enough here.’ ”


    On Thursday, Mr. Obama planned to head to the southwestern tip of Virginia, in Appalachia, to begin courting voters in a state that traditionally goes Republican but could be a battleground in the fall. Then, he intends to take a few days to strategize privately about the general-election campaign.

    Mrs. Clinton’s decision to suspend her campaign, which was first reported by ABC News, was a bow to the emerging political reality. No one in her campaign — including by all reports Mrs. Clinton herself — saw a viable road to the nomination. A suspension of the campaign allows her to continue raising money and pay off millions of dollars in debt.

    The party’s desire for Mrs. Clinton to leave the race was signaled, politely, as four top Democratic leaders issued an early morning statement asking all uncommitted delegates to make their decisions by Friday. The statement from the Democratic chairman, Howard Dean, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Harry Reid and Gov. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, stopped short of endorsing Mr. Obama, but aides said they were likely to move in that direction if Mrs. Clinton lingered in the race.


    “The voters have spoken,” they said in a joint statement released before 7 a.m., timed to set the tone for the day after the last primaries. “Democrats must now turn our full attention to the general election.”


    Representative Rahm Emanuel, the Illinois Democrat with close ties to Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton, and who had kept studiously neutral throughout the fight, said in an interview that he was “coming out from hiding under my desk” to endorse Mr. Obama. “The fact is that he is the nominee,” Mr. Emanuel said


    He seemed quizzical at the slowness of Mrs. Clinton’s decision not to acknowledge this.


    “You don’t answer about whether you want to be about vice president unless there’s no doubt in your mind that he is the nominee,” he said, referring to Mrs. Clinton’s initial reluctance to congratulate Mr. Obama, noting that she told supporters she would be open to be his running mate if he wanted her.


    As Mrs. Clinton began tying up the loose ends of her campaign, Mr. Obama turned to his future — including the choice of a running mate. Some of Mrs. Clinton’s top supporters have been urging Mr. Obama to choose her, saying an Obama-Clinton slate would be a ticket to victory in November.
    Robert L. Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television and a leading contributor to Mrs. Clinton, urged members of the Congressional Black Caucus to lobby Mr. Obama to pick Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Johnson said he had spoken to Mrs. Clinton and was speaking with her permission.


    “We need to have the certainty of winning,” Mr. Johnson wrote in the letter on Wednesday. “And I believe, without question, that Barack Obama as president and Hillary Clinton as vice president bring that certainty to the ticket.”
    David Plouffe, campaign manager for Mr. Obama, said the senator felt no pressure to swiftly name a vice presidential candidate either to tamp down the speculation about Mrs. Clinton’s future or allay her dejected supporters. The passage of time, Mr. Plouffe said, would close the fissures and soothe the hard feelings that developed during the primary fight.


    Mr. Obama’s decision to announce his vice-presidential search committee on Wednesday was intended to mute the speculation about Mrs. Clinton’s interest in the position. In addition to Ms. Kennedy, Mr. Obama also tapped Eric Holder, a deputy attorney general from the Clinton administration, and James A. Johnson, who has overseen similar committees in 1984 and 2004 presidential campaigns.


    At the same time, Mr. Mondale — who in his career has served as a vice president, and picked one — suggested that Mrs. Clinton and her supporters pull back from even appearance of campaigning for the No. 2 spot, suggesting it could complicate a critical decision by Mr. Obama.


    “I think it’s best he just be left alone,” Mr. Mondale said.




    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/05/us/politics/05dems.html?ref=us









    I am actually surprised if this is true.

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