Posted: June 5, 2008 10:34 AM
Clinton Ready to End Presidential Bid, Support Obama
After a hard-fought and historic nominating race against Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. Hillary Clinton is set to end her run for the White House on Saturday and endorse the Illinois senator, according to her aides and an e-mail from her campaign.
“I will be speaking on Saturday about how together we can rally the party behind Senator Obama,” Clinton told supporters in an e-mail Thursday morning. “The stakes are too high and the task before us too important to do otherwise.”
The event, originally planned for Friday, was moved to Saturday and will be held in Washington, D.C. to accommodate more of her supporters, the Washington Post reported.
Also in the speech, Clinton will urge once-warring Democrats to focus on the general election and defeating presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain, the Associated Press reported.
Speculation has run high about Clinton’s endgame since Tuesday evening, when Obama scored enough delegate and super delegate support to claim the nomination — pushing the ground-breaking political duel between the two senators over the finish line.
While Obama claimed the historic nomination, Clinton told supporters she needed more time to consider her next moves.
“This has been a long campaign and I will be making no decisions tonight, but this has always been your campaign,” Clinton told a crowd in New York City on Tuesday, urging people who had voted for her to visit her Web site and offer their thoughts about what she should do.
With an eye on the general election, Democratic leaders had made it clear by Wednesday they needed to party to coalesce around Obama and bring the often bitter nominating battle to a clear conclusion.
Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean and the Democratic congressional leadership released a statement urging the party to rally behind Obama, and several lawmakers, including Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar and Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, all endorsed their Illinois colleague.
As Clinton prepares her campaign exit, pundits continue to ponder rumors that she could be a possible vice-presidential pick for the Obama ticket — something many of her ardent supporters appear to be pressing.
The Obama camp is largely mum on the issue.
“We’re not going to be rushed into it. I don’t think Senator Clinton expects a quick decision and I don’t even know that she’s necessarily interested in that,” Obama told NBC in an interview aired Thursday.