Clinton exits White House race, endorses Obama (Lead)

June 8th, 2008 - 12:35 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 7 (DPA) Hillary Clinton exited the US presidential race Saturday and endorsed presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama, who clinched his party’s nod for the general election earlier this week. “This isn’t exactly the party I planned, but I like the company,” she told thousands of supporters gathered for one final rally in Washington.

“I ask all of you to join me in working as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me,” she said, drawing cheers and spattered boos from the crowd after a bitter five-month battle that saw a series of state primaries held across the US.

Obama and Clinton met privately Thursday night to discuss a way forward and secure victory for the Democratic Party in November.

Obama had formally launched his general election campaign earlier in the day with a series of rallies in Virginia after capturing the nomination Tuesday.

At the early stages, a tight race was expected between the 46-year-old Illinois senator and presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, aged 71.

Supporters chanted “Hillary” at the National Building Museum in Washington as the former first lady and New York senator was set to take the stage.

Clinton is still a possibility for the vice-presidential slot. Polls show a majority of Democrats support Obama picking his former rival.

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