DENVER, Colorado (CNN) – Sen. Hillary Clinton released her delegates Wednesday, allowing those who had pledged to vote for her to choose whomever they please, presumably Sen. Barack Obama, in a roll call vote later today.
"I am here today to release you as my delegates," Clinton told them in a packed ballroom at the Denver Convention Center. "What is so important is that at the end of today we will nominate Barack Obama and Joe Biden as the president and vice president of the United States."
The mood in the ballroom was largely one of resignation, with a brief flash of emotion: when Clinton told the crowd of her decision, some in the audience shouted “No!” Others booed. The senator just smiled and waited for them to finish, then continued her speech.
While Clinton said she wasn't telling her delegates what to do, she reinforced her commitment: "I signed my ballot this morning for Senator Obama"
At the event, Clinton confirmed that her staff has been cooperating and discussing how to have a unified convention with the Obama campaign.
“This was such a competitive primary season,” Clinton told her delegates. “I want you to know this has been a joy. Yes we didn't make it but boy did we have a good time trying.”
Clinton engaged in a bitter primary battle with Obama until the last contest in June before conceding. On Tuesday night, she delivered a headline address to the party’s convention in Denver, which was intended to heal any rift that the contentious campaign had caused.
“I believe that as Democrats and as Americans we will leave Denver united,” she said on Wednesday.
Clinton told the delegation that she had waited to address them in one place so she could address them all before releasing them.
She also took the opportunity to take a swipe at the opposition party, telling her supporters that Republicans “should apologize to the country.”