June 26th, 2008
10:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Clinton makes debut as Obama backer

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/26/art.clintonnal.ap.jpg caption="Clinton made her debut as an Obama backer Thursday."](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.

soundoff (273 Responses)
  1. CJ

    Well of course she is supporting Obama. How else is she going to get her outstanding bills paid?

    June 26, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  2. MEW

    Like she really wants him to win.......give me a break.

    June 26, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  3. ChicoSez

    Why dies Obama want to mewet Hillary's large donors? I thought that he only took small donations. And Obama has asked his large donors to help Hillary. Again, I didn't know Obama had any large donors. Only a million little people who gave $10 a week out of their allowance from home, In reality, half of Obama's money comes from traditional large money donors who bundle packages of checks in hundreds on thousands of dollars. If you listen to Obama's self rightious speech on fund raising, yuou'll never vote for this fraud.
    McCain/Clinton 08

    June 26, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  4. Chuck

    So many people still seem to think that it's either Obama or McCain. There is more than two parties. Search them out, understand their issues, then vote for the one that makes sense. Enough of this mindless ooze of only two choices.

    June 26, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  5. curtis

    Hillary supporters who cant see the difference between mcbush and Obama are blind. Like wise if they cant see the similarities between Hillary and Obama they remain blind and need a reason not to vote for Obama. The two platforms are almost identical so how can any sane person vote against any one of these two. When it comes to politics how can you vote for one and not the other.

    June 26, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  6. richard

    Hillary supporter here and PROUD TO BE AN AMERIMcCain.

    June 26, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  7. Nancy

    Obama needs watching..I still will not vote for him without Hillary on the ticket.

    June 26, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  8. Belle

    Actually, I am a Clinton supporter that is having a harder time voting for Obama.

    Why? I am in manufacturing, and Clinton was for renegotiating NAFTA and the WTO contracts. Now Obama has said NAFTA is a good thing...wow...how many more jobs have to go overseas??? Right now, India supplies foreign labor to the US market by taking the contract, then offering the SAME job to a company employee at 40% less!

    In the same week, Senator Obama also backtracked on campaign finance...where before he said it was VERY important to use Public Funds to keep campaigns from overspending! To keep a level playing field.

    I have to vote for someone I trust...so now that Obama has breached mine, I will watch and wait.

    June 26, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  9. tj

    Hillary, why are you doing this?
    Anyway, nothing is going change our mind not to vote for Obama.
    You are losing respect of your supporters.
    I am definitely switching to indepednts now.
    Losing respoect for democrats

    June 26, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  10. joe DeSoto, MO.

    Did you see the stock market today? Why would Hillary want to be president now? Let Obama fall on his face and then be a hero in 2012. Go Hillary!!

    June 26, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  11. Franco

    Perhaps for "party unity"all the Democratic politicians are supporting
    Obama for President, however, that doesn't mean that the American
    voters should follow along like lemmings. I strongly supported Sen.
    Hillary Clinton because she is the best candidate for whatever party.
    The DMC and all the other back-stabbers did not support Hillary and
    NOW they want her help, how hypocritical can one be? I for one vote
    for a specific candidate with the best experience not a speech giver!

    June 26, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  12. al



    June 26, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  13. Jermaine from SC

    I got an Idea... Why don't we real democrats let these fake Democrats wallow around in there own misery. SO-called Hillary supporters and Puma people, let them vote for whomever they want to vote for. Let them type whatever they want to type in these blogs. In the end, they are nothing but some desparate Republicans trying to stir up some trouble. They know this could be a the year they lose the White House. So let them post. Pay them no attention. All democrats Unite, and lets put America back as the (positive) leader of the world.

    June 26, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  14. Ali

    Obama never won this election: He stole it.

    June 26, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  15. Walt Doering

    Congrats to Hillary for promoting party unity and gettting on board to support Obama! We do not need another version of Bush which is what we get in McCain despite all of his protestations. Let's move this country forward!

    June 26, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  16. I See

    Just as Hillary and Bill through blacks under the bus, her supporters are going to throw the Dems under the bus. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Like her, Hillary supporters are for revenge and their own self interest.

    June 26, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  17. captain

    Thank you, Senator Clinton.

    June 26, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  18. Quincy

    I will be the happiest man on earth whren November 7th rolls around and all these posters pretending to be one thing and are secretly something else get to cast their votes for the candidate of their choice.

    Maybe, just maybe the insults will go away and this nation can begin to heal after this republican travesty improperly concealed behind an ill conceived war in a mistaken land.

    June 26, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  19. Joe

    I congratulate Senator Clinton. It takes a very big person to get behind someone else, especially given that she gave it her all during the primary. She is very right. Anybody who voted for her in the primaries has little (her words, I'd probably say nothing) in common with John McCain. It is time to move this country forward and Senator Obama is the candidate to do that.

    June 26, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  20. Shaik

    For Senator Clinton: Now time to get your darling husband to endorse Obama in a huge public event.
    For bitter Hillary supporters: Voting for McSame because you did not get the prize is selling your soul and your values....that means you were not really in support of her issues or values...just the person.

    June 26, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  21. independent voter

    they still dislike each other and let's face it, hillary was the better candidate. hillary helped obama get elected to the senate by campaigning and raising money for him, but he never credits her with this.

    how long are we going to let the dems milk this war? we already voted them into congress and they have done zero to put this war to an end or do anything else. we have to stop thinking along party lines and blaming the party of the administration for everything we don't like. in order for us to move forward in this country and get things done, we need bipartisan support and we can no longer afford to think and act solely along party lines. we need compromise.

    obama hasn't done anything to reach across party lines and all of his policies are in line with the same old democrtatic/liberal policies. i don't think this man can think for himself.

    June 26, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  22. John Foote

    I will not support Barack Obama if he does not select Hillary Clinton as his Vice President.

    June 26, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  23. Paul

    Hillary is a woman of honor

    Thus, please stop criticizing her because, we have to be together for the general election.

    Obama-Hillary 08

    June 26, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  24. Obama/Clinton!

    Sen Clinton;
    It is you with him as the Dem tkt in Nov OR a vote for McCain. Obama is far too weak and too liberal to get the total vote of swing states based on kids who are clueless voting and African-Americans alone.

    June 26, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  25. slax

    latinos for obama? what has he ever done for them? what has he ever done for anyone?

    June 26, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
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