Clinton talked with reporters about her first trip back to the Capitol since ending her presidential bid. (Getty Images)
WASHINGTON (CNN) - After wrapping up the longest presidential primary campaign in modern history, Hillary Clinton told reporters Tuesday she is ready to turn her attention back to being the junior senator from New York.
"I look forward to being back with this great team," she said as she returned to the Senate at the end of a two-week vacation, taken after she conceded the 17-month-long primary contest to Sen. Barack Obama.
Watch: Clinton greeted with cheers
The second-term New York Democrat pledged to "immerse myself in there," pointing to the chamber.
She had just emerged from the party's weekly luncheon that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called "one of the most emotional caucuses" he's ever attended on Capitol Hill. He said the New York senator entered the event to a sea of high fives, cheers, and a standing ovation from her Democratic colleagues.
Clinton said the opportunity to run for the Oval Office allowed her to "immerse myself in the extraordinary resilience and resourcefulness that is the American people."
"And I come back with an even greater depth of awareness about what we have to do here in Washington," she said. "So many of the concerns that people have expressed to me over the course of this campaign are ones that they can't individually solve. They can't even really take it on just at the state or local level."
Clinton said that in addition to working "very hard to elect Sen. Obama our president," she plans to campaign on behalf of Democratic Senate candidates.
"We have been unfortunately stymied by the stalling tactics" of Republicans, she said, noting the need for 60 votes to get any legislation passed in the Senate.
"It's going to be up to the Democratic Party, and particularly the Democratic Senate, to make progress on everything from health care and the economy to ending the war in Iraq, and I look forward to being back with this great team that we have here and doing everything I can to make that happen," she said.
And Clinton told reporters she is not spending time on the possibility she may be asked to serve in the No. 2 spot on Barack Obama's presidential ticket.
"You know, it is not something that I think about," she said. "This is totally Sen. Obama's decision, and that's the way it should be."
But she made clear, as she tried to do in her ultimate concession speech June 7, that her supporters should not stray toward John McCain, no matter any hard feelings left over from a bruising primary.
"Anyone who voted for me has very little in common with the Republican Party," she said.
Thursday night, Obama and Clinton are set to meet with key donors in Washington. The next day, the two will appear jointly in Unity, New Hampshire - a small town on that state's western border where the two candidates tied in the January primary.
"This is going to be a symbolic event that I hope will rally the Democratic Party behind the nominee," she said.