NEW YORK (CNN) – Over the next several days, one of the main questions will be how much help Hillary Clinton will offer Barack Obama in his effort to win back the White House, which has been under Republican control ever since her husband Bill Clinton left office in January 2001.
Two top Clinton supporters told me Tuesday evening they are ready to get behind Obama once the New York senator officially acknowledges that her Senate colleague has won the nomination.
James Carville said he is ready to open up his wallet to help Obama build a political warchest to take on John McCain in November.
“As soon as she gets out I am going to write him a check,” Carville said.
Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe said earlier in the day – prior to CNN projecting that Obama clinched the nomination – that he too would help out the Illinois senator.
“If he is the nominee, listen, I will help,” McAuliffe said. “I have helped Democrats now for 30 years, and I will continue to do so.”
Carville and McAuliffe both predicted that the two Democratic rivals would join together to help unify the party, but Carville noted that there needs to be a healing process as the party prepares for the general election.
“I think the easiest Democrat to win over is Senator Clinton,” Carville said. “She will be as helpful as she can be.”
But Carville also said that the burden to bring the party together needs to be a joint effort, noting that feelings from this competitive primary are “still kind of raw.”
“She is going to do her part, and he is going to have to do his part to,” Carville said.
Carville is a CNN contributor.
McAuliffe predicted that Clinton and Obama “are going to work very close together,” adding that “They both need each other.”