Former presidential rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton made their
first joint campaign appearance Friday in the aptly named town of
Unity, New Hampshire. It was the first time the once bitter rivals
campaigned together since Obama clinched the Democratic Party's
presidential nomination earlier this month. VOA National correspondent
Jim Malone has more from Washington.
For 16 months they were
rivals. But in the small New Hampshire town of Unity Friday, Senators
Obama and Clinton sought to put their primary battles in the past and
heal the Democratic Party in time to face Republican John McCain in
"Well, Unity is not only a beautiful place, as we can see, it is a wonderful feeling, isn't it," asked Senator Clinton.
suspended her campaign earlier this month after it was clear Obama had
clinched enough Democratic delegates to claim the party's presidential
Clinton left little doubt Friday that she will fully
support Obama's run for the White House against the presumptive
Republican nominee, Senator John McCain.
"We may have started on
separate paths, but today, our paths have merged," she added. "Today
our hearts are set on the same destination for America. Today we are
coming together for the same goal, to elect Barack Obama as the next
president of the United States."
Clinton and Obama flew together
from Washington to New Hampshire and appeared friendly toward one
another during the campaign rally. The image of the two former rivals
now joining forces could encourage some Clinton supporters to call on
Obama to choose Hillary Clinton as his vice presidential running mate.
now, Obama is saying little about a vice presidential running mate.
Obama did tell the rally at Unity that he expects Hillary and Bill
Clinton to play a role in his campaign.
"We need them badly, not
just my campaign, but the American people need their service and their
vision and their wisdom in the months and years to come because that is
how we are going to bring about unity in the Democratic Party and that
is how we are going to bring about unity in America, and that is how we
are going to deliver the American dream in every corner of every state
of this great nation that we love," he said.
Besides the obvious
implication of its name, Unity was chosen because each candidate got
exactly 107 votes in January's New Hampshire presidential primary,
which Clinton won.
Republican John McCain meanwhile campaigned
in Ohio Friday, and told reporters he still hopes to win over some
Clinton supporters who may be reluctant to back Obama.
think we are able to attract some of Senator Clinton's supporters, not
so much because of any reason that they think that I may serve America
best," he said. "I had a woman at a town hall meeting yesterday who
was wearing a Hillary hat. I was pleased that she was there and I was
pleased to respond to her comments."
At the rally in New
Hampshire, Hillary Clinton urged her supporters to resist the McCain
campaign and line up behind Senator Obama.
But that may not be
enough for some Clinton supporters like university professor Jill
Brantley. Brantley was among a handful of protesters in Washington
this week urging Clinton not to abandon her campaign for the Democratic
"We are being asked to fall in line in terms of
issues while the process is absolutely corrupt," she said. "And I am
frightened, knowing how he got the nomination, what he would do if he
had real power. I really am."
Clinton and Obama also discussed
fundraising this week. Clinton needs help paying off a ten million
dollar campaign debt, and Obama wants to tap some of her top
fundraisers for his campaign against John McCain.