(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.
please post this...oh sorry begging.. LOL
fight the liberal media!
McCain continues to lynch Obama in major polls and it gets no press!
Rasmussen McCain 51, Obama 36 McCain +15.0
Dyslexia is a terrible thing eh??????
Jeez... It's sad to see Hillary Clinton supporters will vote for McCain, just because she didn't win. That is acting like a baby. Grow up.
Just think Hill, every time you smile it's worth about 10K. Just keep smiling, get the money to pay your debt, and go back to your own life. We know you don't care for Barack.
I admire Hillary for the campaign she ran. She is an outstanding woman. I will vote fro McCain in November because of his experience.
Way to go Hill!
For those idiots who think Hillary is doing this only for political reasons, what the heck does that say about her ethics?
She will endorse Obama, tell her supporters to vote for him, but doesn't believe that's the best move for the country? I don't think REAL HRC supporters believe that garbage.
If if walks and talks like a McCain troll, that's what is
I am amazed that anyone who was supporting HRC could even think of going out to vote for McSame. The Democratic Primary ended the way it did, fair and square.
If you're going to remain bitter and selfish, please stay home on Nov. 4.
2 Supreme court slots will open up in the next term ... The choice you make will decide who fills them ... Like Obama or not ... they are in office a lot longer than a president.
Way to go Hillary! You tell em'!
Welcome back and thanks for joining our winning team!
Let's go Bam and Hill! Time to step it up and stomp McSame!
There is a saying in Aisan countries:
A lost person coming home at night is not lost afterall.
Better late than never.
Hillary, you have to do what you have to do, and we have to do what we have to do
NO OBAMA EVER
We can wait until 2012 to elect you. We all survived eight years of Bush. We can survive four of McCain, since McCain is nowhere near as bad as Bush. I don't believe ANY of us can survive even a year of snake in a suit Obama and hateful Michelle
“Anyone who voted for me has little in common with the Republican Party.”
That's true. Which is why I really would like to think that all of the PUMA types really are Operation Chaos moles. Because it's depression to consider just how stupid and emotional a true Democrat would have to be to vote for McCain because of hurt feelings.
She thinks she's slick. When she was running for president, she was wore every color of the rainbow. Now that she's campaigning for Barack, she's in funeral black. She also wore black, as did Bill and Chelsea when she conceded.
We're on to you Hill, no wonder you lost.
When referring to the "Unity" appearance, why is CNN calling it the "CLINTON-OBAMA..." I believe it should be the 'OBAMA-CLINTON..." After all, who is the candidate???????
How about you stop campaigning for someone you dont like and do the job you were hired to do... ie.. Senator from the State of New York.
Remember us? The people you used to try to get to the White House? Well, it was a valiant effort. Now back to your real job.
Please!!! Anything we need to do to keep McSAME out of the white house! GO OBAMA!
I love and will always support Hillary; I will, however, NEVER support the slick Chicago pimp... Anyone but the arrogant Obama!
Guys Guys just take a chill pill...Its what you call POLITICS...and please really try hard to hide you stupidity when typing...I know its kinda hard but please try anyway and Vote whoever you wnat thats what make this country so great...Stop scaring the bajeezus out of every one by saying I will Vote Mcain Now????? what the heck... are you kidding me...say some thing smart or not say anything...vote who ever you want and if your feelings are hurt after losing, go cry yourself to sleep with a thumb in your mouth.
Hillary, just remember Barack leads you follow!
McCain should be cowering in a corner by now.
This is just going to do wonders for Obama's numbers. Republicans should feel this is too painful to watch, I can understand their coniving efforts in infiltrating pro-democrat blogs and pretending to be anything but republicans.
This is good, I hope she keeps this up.
To those Hillary supporters that refuse to vote for Barrack, just know at this point it iwill be against what's best for the party, against Hillar'ys wishes and will basically defy logic and reason.
Thanks, Hill Dog.
We love you but I still don't trust you with my future. You've said too many crazy things over the past several months.
JOHN EDWARDS FOR VP
If Hillary isn't the VP I will vote mccain simply because it is arrogant and offensive for Obama to not walk the talk-he is the keeper of change and can bring GOP and DEMs together then he surely can bring Hillary aboard. . Don't bother emailing me again until she is on the ticket, or else my money and support goes GOP!
for as much as i wanted HER to WIN,
i will vote for OBAMA!!!!!
no more McSame
Every woman who supported Hillary Clinton owes it to Hillary, to herself, and to women across the country to support Barack Obama.
Obama will break down the barrier that has prevented anyone but white males from gaining the White House. His election will not just be a step forward for African Americans, it will be a step forward for all who have been denied equal opportunity. Barack Obama today opens the door; tomorrow a woman, a Latino, or a poor kid from nowhere can step through it.