It was day two of the Democratic Unity Tour, and Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama made their first public appearance together since Sen. Clinton dropped out of the presidential race earlier this month, leaving Sen. Obama as the party’s presumptive nominee.
The senators, rivals for more than a year in one of the closest nomination battles in history, shared a stage in the New Hampshire town serendipitously named Unity, a town which gave each of them 107 votes in the state’s primary back in January.
Sen. Clinton addressed the crowd first, with Sen. Obama sitting to her right.
“Unity is not only a beautiful place as we can see; it’s a wonderful feeling, isn’t it? And I know when we start here in this field in Unity, we’ll end on the steps of the Capitol when Barack Obama takes the oath of office as our next president,” Clinton said, before turning the microphone over to Sen. Obama.
The senator from Illinois used the opportunity to praise Sen. Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, and “o reach out to their supporters. Obama will need the Clintons’ support, and the support of the working class and older voters who supported her in larger numbers during the primaries.
“We need them. We need them badly,” Obama said of the Clintons. “Not just my campaign, but the American people need their service and their vision and their wisdom in the months and years to come because that’s how we’re going to bring about unity in the Democratic Party. And that’s how we’re going to bring about unity in America.”
Sens. Clinton and Obama also met Thursday, but at a private fundraising event in Washington, D.C. There, at the Mayflower hotel, Clinton urged her top donors to back her former rival against presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain.
“I’m going to need Hillary by my side campaigning during his election, and I’m going to need all of you,” Sen. Obama told the group.
For her part, Sen. Clinton needs Sen. Obama’s help in paying down her $10 million in campaign debt. Sen. Obama told the group he would help. He said he and his wife, Michelle Obama, had written a check for the federal maximum limit of $4,600.