(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.
Lets Go Dems!!!!
Please, Please just keep her and Billy-Boy away from the White House...in other words: Even if you think she is doing you a favor at this point, please do not appoint her as your Veep. I do believe you and all of us will live to regret that decision, as John McCain will surely win the November nod.
Obama is OK as long as Hillary is the VP running mate, PERIOD!!!
Dear Hillary Supporters,
If you vote McCain you are voting for more war and many deaths. You are voting for our staying in Iraq and war with Iran and who knows what other countries. I understand that many of you have hard feelings. If you want to protest I support that but please do so by staying home and not by voting death.
Good move Hillary, we know you really don't mean it, but we will take it anyway. Everyone knows that you are doing this just so your supporters will help pay your debt and I think they should.
To Clinton/McCain, go ahead and cast your vote for McCain, it's just one vote and if that makes you comfortable. Just do it, the rest of us really don't care.
And as far as Bill is concerned, he just needs to stay away!!!!!!!!
Clinton junkies: you are bitter, miserable, and you have no hope. Buch of sore losers holding an unhealthy grudge, you are.
I'm just DYING to know when her "new job" will be the next Senator from New York, seeing that we've been short one for over two years now. Prior to that, she didn't do a whole lot for her "home state." Just wondering....
way to finally give some praise to Obama and restore the dignity you lost during the primaries while running such a negative campaign.
Any Clinton supporter who votes for McCain is nuts because they are complete opposites. Obama and Clinton are very similar policy-wise.
LAME! She looks rediculous campaigning for Obama. Hillary was thrown under the bus by the Obamas and their nazi followers. No amount of Hillary campaigning for Barrack is going to change the fact that Obama for President is a terrible idea.
Hillary better watch out that she doesn't hurt her chances of beating President McCain in 2012.
" I have removed the Clinton sign from my yard. My yard is now more beautiful than ever. It appears that dark cloud hevering over it has moved on now that a MaCain sign has replaced it. By the way, "I work for a living, therefore I'm a Republican."
This statement rules. Look, I came to believe this quote came from a republican that would have voted for mccain either way.
WE LOVE OUR OBAMA, OUR HILLARY & BILL.
DEMS LETS GET OUT THE VOTE. WE NEED
HEALTH CARE INSURANCE
AND MOST OF OUR TAX DOLLARS,
SPENT ON AMERICAN CITIES AND AMERICANS.
I hardly ever comment on these ridiculous articles but seriously, if you don't like Hillary then what is the point of wasting your time typing arguments about her? Those of us that actually like her aren't going to be turned away because of your comments. You are wasting your own time and space for those of us who want to say something positive. Grow Up!
Let's all pull together Clinton-ites!! The Clintons will be a big part of the success of an Obama presidency .... working together – nothing can stop us!!! That's what it's all about. (Gas is about to hit $5 here in Western NY – do we really want that?)
TO "GA American" are you saying democrats do not work. We work harder trying to make ends meet. And because of that president you all voted in twice we are suffering more. The republicans do not care about no one.
NO MORE GOP!!!
You Hillary sore heads need to realize that politics is just a game. Like Hillary said, she and Obama were friends before and they’ll be friends after the primaries. Hillary will have her turn because she’s a team player. She knows how the game is played.
Talk about hypocritical! Those Hillary supporters who claim they'll vote for McCain obviously care nothing about the issues and values she so vigorously put forth during her campaign, many of which represent the core values of the Democratic party. For them to say, to heck with that, I'll get my revenge or vent my frustration by voting for McCain, betrays everything she sought to do, and makes one wonder just what it was about her that they felt so strongly about in the first place.
Thank you Mrs. Clinton, I would still vote for McCain.
Some of Hillary's supporters say they love her, but can't support Obama because he's "a liar" and a "clown," and that Hillary's backing him for "political reasons" only. Well, if she's willing to campaign for such a horrible man, then Sen. Clinton is a person of very low character and worthy of disdain not adoration.
Yeah see does have some pain in her eyes – but it is because she lost.
Both Obama and Clinton sincerely know it is in the best interest to look forward to the future and band together against all the OPERATION CHAOS KOOKS that keep spamming here posing as Clinton supporters.
For those who think Clinton lost.....you are just what Obama ordered – stupid and naive. Obama is the nominee of the DNC, Clinton was the nominee of the people (oh ya – the popular vote). So frankly, no matter what Clinton says now – supporting a presumptive nominee of the DNC is far more distructive for America than supporting McCain.
McCain as President will not be able to do much with a large majority of Democrats in the House and Senate. Clinton 2012 – without Dean, Kerry, Pelosi (the rat) and Reid!!!!! No Obama!!! He is not good for America or the World.
Vote for America....Vote for McCain!
"The cost of gas increasing" Yeah, all we need to do is change presidents and that will get fixed right away (rolls eyes). And fixing the entire economy is also that simple. Darn; who would've known?
Seriously, folks: with both houses of Congress (which have a lot more to do with the economy than the President), the Democrats have done squat.
Hillary's got $20 Mill to pay off; she'll play nicey-nice until there's a big dent in that. After that, she'll covertly sabotage Barack to have a shot in 2012.
At last, where have you been hillary? Bring bill along as well :)
Dont listen to the paid Rethug trolls pretending to be Clinton backers who are angry at the DNC and Obama. These people are liars.
Her palstic smile would make Mrs. Potato Head proud!
Why do people continue to boast about how they're going to vote for McCain? What is it exactly you're trying to accomplish by repeating that over and over and over and over and over again? You're certainly not changing anyone's mind, so what gives?