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. DM, Arlington TX

    This is a sign of a team player.. Kodo to Senator Clinton....

    June 26, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  2. GC from Virginia

    To Independent in Iowa:

    I totally agree. But you must understand that it goes both ways. For every venom-spitting Obama supporter there's a hateful Clinton supporter. For every Clinton supporter called a racist or an idiot, there's an Obama supporter called an elitist or a black supremacist. Want proof? Go to one of those PUMA sites. They're more hateful and misaligned than Rush Limbaugh.

    I think we should just ignore what posters on these blogs say and do not allow them to affect our decision. These people are not part of the campaigns and they in no way represent the campaigns. There are a lot of spiteful idiots on both sides. We should all ignore them and move on.

    June 26, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  3. BigAce

    Stacy, Puff, Jeff D – HRC POSERS
    GA American – Real HRC supporter.

    Notice that there is no attack on Obama in the post, only remorse for fallen candidate.

    The posers always try to place blame on the DNC for the outcome of the nomination, which is factually incorrect. But when you are trying to cause division, you don't want the facts to get in your way of spewing divisive commentary.

    As for GA American and others alike, a word of advice. Politics is a very unpredictable process. The fact that you don't like the outcome of the HRC vs Obama contest, means that you are not ready for the big stage.

    Be happy with McSame, Live long and prosper, if its possible under his leadership. BTW, you may have to get a second job if you really believes that his economic policies will turn things around for this country.

    June 26, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  4. Pat, Washington

    She looks rested. Which is always good, however, if she doesnt do all that she cant to ensure the nominee of the democratic party is elected she wont be elected ever. So all you haters, racist whatever the reason is you are choosing not to vote for obama although he supports nearly everything Clinton does. She will never get there because it will be written she was the cause the USA went down further although we are pretty low as it is. Guess we just be closer to smelling the dirt.

    June 26, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  5. sharon

    As much as I respect Clinton and will still write in her name in November, I CANNOT and will not votw for Obama unless HRC IS HIS VICE PRESIDENT.......

    June 26, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  6. Sean

    What's more important, the lives of thousands more of our young soldiers who would die in an unending Iraqi war under McCain, or satisfying your personal frustrations by switching your support from Hillary to McCain?

    Personally, I value the lives of our young soldiers far more than I do my feelings of petty vindictiveness.

    Obama '08

    June 26, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. Mary

    Thks Hillary for supporting Obama and telling us that if you are a true Hillary supporter then you should vote Obama.

    June 26, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  8. Big gator

    Why do you keep coming here and saying you will vote for MCINSANE. Do it. I don't believe he gets 5% of her vote, so stop kidding yourselves. Stop crying, wipe your nose and grow up. Yeah you PUMA losers too.

    June 26, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  9. Kevin, NC

    Welcome to the fold Hillary, We still love you and Chelsea, but dump that Husband of yours after You and Obama win the election.

    June 26, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  10. Glenn

    Thanks, Hillary. As long as you support Obama, I will glad donate to help you pay of your debt. It would be even greater if your 18 million voters each donated about $1 each. That would just about wioe it out.

    June 26, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  11. Steve/Houston,TX for Obama

    I really wish that the Hillary supporters will listen to her. She clearly stated “Anyone who voted for me has little in common with the Republican Party.” So why would you vote for McCain? To try and show Obama that your pissed? Trust me, he will be the next president and you would have just wasted your time and energy trying to slow down progress. Relax, Relate and Release your bitterness and vote responsibly.

    Obama '08. YES WE CAN.

    June 26, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  12. An Independent Hillary

    Go Hillary! Unite this party! We are so proud of you. You are an inspiration to all!

    June 26, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  13. PEGGY

    58 old white ladies for OBAMA


    June 26, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  14. PLC

    The Clinton's may have no hard feelings, but her voters do. I'll be voting for McCain unless Obama picks Hillary as his VP.

    June 26, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  15. Amarissa

    Sorry Hillary NOBAMA. I know you are doing what any good politician would do and that is support your party's candidate. I do not think I could do that, I still respect you but I cannot vote for an unqualified leftist candidate who scares me to death! I, as millions of others, are still fighting for justice. I know you are in debt, I know you must help unite the Party but don't ask us to join in because our principles are not for sale. We, as voters, have the right to choose our own candidate. You are still the one, but if our rights are ignored all the way to the Convention and Obama becomes the official candidate, I rather vote for the least of evils.
    Amarissa, Florida

    June 26, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  16. NY Democrat

    LOL @ ALL the undercover Republicans on here Ha Ha Ha!
    We see right thru you!
    Change ya name it dont matter we know you by the context of your post its the same old lame stuff.. Idle threats about voting for McLame.. tryin (operative word TRYING) to smear Sen Obama...
    You guys are so weak nobody's buying that crapola just like your candidate McLAMEEEE!

    Obama all the way baby!
    Yes We Gonna!

    June 26, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  17. What?

    Sure, now he needs the 'Latino' vote, so he goes a'courtin'

    This Mexican-American needs more than a few crumbs thrown my way. What did you ever do for us Obama?!?

    You can wait for my vote just as I had to wait for you to acknowledge there are other minorities besides African-Americans.

    June 26, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  18. Rick

    If you think Hillary is REALLY supporting Obama, guess again. She is going to do everything possible (quietly, mind you) to sink his ship. Even her ex-staff say so. She has to do it quietly though, or she will hose herself with the Dumbocrat party. She and Bill believe in winning, and if they can't have it, neither will Obama. Hill knows that if she does not get it in 2008, she must make absolutely certain Obama does not either. If Obama wins in 2008, Hillary knows he will a shoe-in for the Democratic nomination in 2012, and she will need to wait until 2016 for another shot. She would be nearly 70, and she ain't lookin' too good now (the close-ups are scary...). No, this is her chance, now or in 2012, and she is not about to let Obama steal the show. This leads me to predict that McCain will be elected President, even though he sucks (he's old, ugly, angry, stupid, and worst of all – he's every bit as much a Dumbocrat as Hillary).

    June 26, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  19. Marianne

    Hillary don't look back, and don't let anyone keep you down. You are a remarkable person. Thank-you for your shining examples of doing what is right for all Americans, even though it may be hard on a personal level.

    June 26, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  20. Eric

    I agree that the troops need to be brought home. However we need to keep some kind of presence over there, if we turn her back on the mess we created there will be huge ramifications! Remember a place called Afghanistan. We need to stop the "war" but we must keep a presence over there!

    June 26, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  21. Terri - Vancouver, WA

    To "Fight the Liberal Media" – I would suggest that you actually go read the latest Rasmussen poll. The ONLY place that McCain is leading Obama by 15% is in Tennessee! The national poll shows Obama up by 6% points over McCain, and gaining every week.

    Do your research before you type...

    June 26, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  22. Schalaine Ellisor

    Work your butt off to get this young man elected. You know if a democrate is not elected, you will be blaimed and your political career will be in the crapper. So, it's not like you're doing Obama a favor, you are protecting your own back. For the PUMA's who are still hoping Hillary will be on the ticket-give it up. She does not have enough honor to be on a ticket with him. Besides, Hillary is old school. We want change and that is not what a Clinton represent.

    June 26, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  23. Bryan

    I have supported both Hillary and Barack but it will not matter. The republicans will steal another election.

    Bush's first term was not an election as the Supreme Court picked him. Bush's gets voted in the second time becuase of corruption in the system that the Democrats should have called them on. Which is why Bush is running for a third term under the alias McCain.

    Does anybody really think the election isn't already decided?

    June 26, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  24. AV

    there's so many people that are still bitter about the primary's but was wondering why? Why so angry with Obama and also the DNC can you fill me in>

    June 26, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  25. Ja

    "McCain continues to lynch Obama in major polls and it gets no press!
    Rasmussen McCain 51, Obama 36 McCain +15.0"

    Leaving aside the incendiary use of the word "lynch", Rasmussen's daily presidential tracking poll has Obama 46, McCain 41. Not sure what state/county/date/universe you cherry-picked that number from.

    Wish the Republicans would find another hobby and quit pretending to be angry Hillary supporters on the internet. It's not fooling anyone, just making us scroll more.

    June 26, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
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