(CNN) - After 17 months of vigorously promoting her own candidacy, Hillary Clinton made her debut on Thursday as an official backer of Barack Obama.
Clinton appeared before the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials meeting in Washington and forcefully argued the Illinois senator would be a strong advocate of the Latino community if he is elected president.
Related: Unity is theme for Obama, Clinton
Earlier, she told the American Nurses Association that “Anyone who voted for me has little in common with the Republican Party.”
Clinton formally backed her onetime rival nearly three weeks ago, but Thursday's appearances were the first time that the New York senator has advocated for Obama's candidacy publicly in front of voters.
Watch: Obama, Clintons: Hard feelings?
"I know Senator Obama. I have served with him now for nearly four years in the Senate. I campaigned with him for more than 16 months on the campaign trail. I have stood on the stage in 22 debates, but who is counting," Clinton said to laughter.
"Every issue you care about personally, every issue that your constituents care about, every issue that NALEO is fighting for is really at risk," She continued. "We cannot afford four more years of the same. It wont be good for any of us, and therefore we have to be determined to chart a new course, and cannot do that without electing Senator Obama our president."
The NALEO appearance seals Clinton's reentry into the 2008 presidential campaign, 19 days after she called her White House bid quits. It came only hours before Clinton and Obama are set to appear together before powerful Democratic fundraisers that have largely supported Clinton's bid in the Democratic primary. And on Friday, the two senators will head to Unity, New Hampshire, in their first foray on the campaign trail together.
Latino voters overwhelmingly supported Clinton's White House bid throughout the primary season and some Clinton surrogates suggested Obama may have trouble courting the influential voting bloc in the general election.
Specifically, ardent Clinton backer Terry McAuliffe said the New York senator's overwhelming win in Puerto Rico proved Obama had a "problem with the Latino community," and "cannot close in this key core constituency.
But the NALEO audience was all cheers for the Illinois senator Thursday, showing few signs Obama will have difficulty courting the demographic as the general election campaign heats up.
As for Clinton, she told the crowd she "had a lot of fun" campaigning for president, even though there were "some tough times."
"What I remember were all of the faces, all of the people who came out to support me, all of the elected officials who stood by my side, all of the funny things that happened in a campaign that you don't ever predict, but which are memorable," she said.
I'm not convinced Obama doesn't need to bring a food tester along.
I reserve the right not to trust any Clinton after observing this past primary!
Angry, disappointed or whatever, Hillary is trying to move forward as
should we. Only prob is that some of you Obamanians continue to
trash her. She's endorsing and willing to say more with grace about him than he likely would her. So best you people change your tone, reason being this. Just when some of us feel that we might...might be
able to support him, then comes your damaging chatter. Let' see what
he does for her now...........think that is what will determine how genuine he is. And, she'll get the money to pay off her debt, don't gloat
too much, the test of leadership stil lies ahead.
To all you that say that Hillary was abused and hateful things were said about her by Obama... do you guys have selective memories? If you recall.. it was Clinton who was always being bashed for using the whole "kitchen sink" approach as soon as she fell behind... trying to bash Obama any way she could.
I swear some people have tunnel vision or something.
Hello Hillary-I am very excited having you and Obama together–maybe we can finally, with you both working on the policies and issues, we can get this country back to where it belongs. You're both intelligent, driven and have the best interests of the country at heart.
Let's get some things done-good luck on the campaign!!! THe only thing a lot of people have in common now is that we sure don't want what we have now!!!
Hillary did her best and she lost fair and square, maybe next time she will win. Hillary is going to help Obama and unit the Democratic Party, and some of you people are going to vote for McCain. Are you crazy!! Do you want another George Bush to be elected for another 4 years; obviously you don’t care about your country, environment and your children. If you vote for McCain and your children are drafted to an illegal war and come back in body bags you have yourself to blame. When you vote for McCain and you lose your job and become homeless it your own fault!!! Hillary and Obama are trying to unit the Democratic Party and some of you are mad, biter and ignorant and will turn against the Democratic Party and vote Republican. It shows that you don’t care about your country but yourself. It’s a shame that one man is going to try to make the USA a better place and people are very narrow minded and put their own person feeling into the election and will vote for the other party. Some people are just not true Democrats. They stick together not run off to another party. People, please think change and the US will be a better place in the near future if you vote Democrat. Do you really want to see the same old same old the next 4 years, I don’t.
You can always tell who is truly a republican in disguise here. They are the ones calling Obama a socialist/radical. Did anyone forget that Hillary is the one for REQUIRED federal healthcare? True Democrats know she is making the right move.
anybody that wil switch parties because they are mad need to take their toys and go home. how loyal are you?
Now is the time to Unite.
OBAMA / CLINTON 08
We all know you supposed "Hillary supporters for McCain" are full of crap. You're republicans and like to fuel this junk about switching ti McSame over Obama,
We're not falling for it, nice try.
"No amount of begging, cajoling, pandering Obmama or his surrogates do, The Latino Community, with the exception of the Puerto Ricans, will not vote for Obama in the general election.
McCain has our votes for 3 good reasons, Patriotism, Patriotism, Patriotism.. Semper Fi.
to all Hispanos that have sons and daughters in uniform and who have served our country honorably. Do your duty, save our country, vote McCain."
The patriotic would never vote for McCain. His war experience means very little. I respect him for having served, definitely, but that has nothing to do with fixing our country. The economy is in dire straits, and McCain has already shown that he doesn't have any clue how to fix it. More tax breaks for corporations? Great, that's a brilliant plan.
Patriotism means that you care greatly about your country. Voting for anyone other than McCain is patriotic.
I just don't see why and how a Hillary supporter will vote for McBuch. If you truly are for women right.
We are not bitter–those who refuse to support Obama. We just simply do not believe that Obama will make a good president. McCain is acceptable in terms of his stance on immigration, the Iraq war (if you listen to the full text of his much distorted "100-year stay" statement) and grounded view of life and possibly style of governing. As opposed to the soaring rhetoric and much hyped Obama style of presidency.
Just cannot trust the Clintons and do not want to see them in public anymore.
It is time to turn the page on old dirty Washington politics – that means: no more Clintons!
Thank you Hillary.... you have restored my faith ... now let's go after the big prize... and kick McCain and the Republicans to the curb
Thank you Hillary. Fellow Obama supporters please consider donating $5 to Hillary to help pay off her debt. If all of us did so, it would be done and over.
It was a fierce campaign. Obama won. Hillary is doing her best to help him win. Let's help a member of the Democratic family in the spirit of "Yes We Can."
Glad you are back. The campaign between Obama and McCain has been a real snore. Wake me when it's over.
Another avalanche of politcal fu-fu from the Democrats! Responsible working people understand that Republican party principles are fundamentally the best for our country. The Democrats need to wake up and recognize that not EVERYONE can be on welfare, or equivalent government subsidies!
Vote McCain in 2008!
Limbaugh has conceded,he now says to keep fighting for the Supreme Court Nominations.He really means he is afraid to have to share air time with someone giving an opposing view.
We don't need Hillary or her supporters to win this election. Why don't you all go bake some cookies.
Proud of her. She is keeping her promise to work hard to get a Democrat in the White House. I had doubts for a while, but this Unity tour definitely is restoring my respect for her. It's a tribute to both candidates that they have put aside their own feelings and are now working hard towards one goal. I hope followers of both will learn from their example and do the same. Democrats need to win in November. The Supreme Court is at stake. The Republicans need to go back to the drawing board and relearn what they abandoned over the last 12 years. They became the Evangeical Christian Only, Defecit-Spend, Destroy Constitutional Rights party. Anathema to the American way.
You can see is what She said it not come from her hart.She is very sad.I am and family NOT going to vote for this RACIST. He play race card without any provocation only to gain sympathy.
Sorry Hillary, but I do not endorse Obama. He can not ever endorse his own race. If he did, he would be considered mixed-race and not
African American. I do not feel that any American should be called anything other than an American.
All these Hillary supporters saying there's no way you'll vote for Obama, HRC was the best thing to ever happen to this country, etc., etc.–
Where were you when Iowa had its caucus? Where were you during the month of February when Obama won eleven states in a row?
I think some of you are so invested in being victims you can't remember just a few months ago when you were lukewarm about Clinton as she was losing state after state. If she's as great as you say she is, she never would've lost.