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Clinton Endorses Obama

After historic race, urges Democrats to unite

By Madison Hartke-Weber | June 9 , 2008
Senator Hillary Clinton smiles on the podium at the National Building Museum as her daughter Chelsea applauds in Washington, D.C., June 7, 2008. (Photo: ©Joshua Roberts/Reuters)
Senator Hillary Clinton smiles on the podium at the National Building Museum as her daughter Chelsea applauds in Washington, D.C., June 7, 2008. (Photo: ©Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Senator Hillary Clinton formally suspended her presidential campaign on Saturday. In her concession speech, Clinton officially endorsed the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Illinois Senator Barack Obama.

With temperatures soaring to up to 100 degrees outside, hundreds of Clinton's friends and supporters gathered in the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. The crowd, mostly women, were disappointed that their favorite candidate was dropping out of the campaign but recognized the importance of the event.

Susan Cummins from Maryland brought a huge bouquet of roses from the Montgomery County Hillary Supporters. Cummins told Scholastic News Online they were presenting the flowers "to show our appreciation for Hillary and how proud we are of her."

Entering the stage with her mother, Dorothy Rodham, her husband, former
President Bill Clinton, and her daughter, Chelsea, the New York Senator flashed a big smile as she opened her speech. "Well, this isn't exactly the party I'd planned, but I sure like the company," she began.

She thanked all of the volunteers who supported her candidacy, and emphasized her continuing commitment to universal health care, among other issues on which she has campaigned.

After the brief introduction, Clinton quickly moved to her endorsement of Senator Obama.

"The way to continue our fight now—to accomplish the goals for which we stand—is to take our energy, our passion, our strength and do all we can to help elect Barack Obama the next President of the United States," she declared.

Mixed Response

The crowd responded to the endorsement with cheers and boos.

Senator Hillary Clinton concedes the nomination
Senator Hillary Clinton waves to the audience at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., June 7, 2008. (Photo: ©Chris Fitzgerald/CandidatePhotos.com)

Edward Purich from Washington, D.C., was one who voiced disappointment. "I will not vote for Senator Obama in this election because I don't think he has enough experience," he said.

Clinton was aware that many of her supporters shared the same feelings as Purich, and addressed this in her speech.

"Life is too short, time is too precious, and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been," Clinton said, hoping to focus their energy toward the general election in November.

"We have to work together for what still can be. And that is why I will work my heart out to make sure that Senator Obama is our next President. I hope and pray that all of you will join me in that effort."

Final Consolation

Clinton went on to speak specifically to the young people who had supported her.

"To those who are disappointed that we couldn't go all the way–especially the young people who put so much into this campaign–it would break my heart if, in falling short of my goal, I in any way discouraged any of you from pursuing yours," she said.

"Always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in. When you stumble, keep faith. When you're knocked down, get right back up."

The Senator and former First Lady still believes that a woman will one day become Commander in Chief. "The 50th woman to leave this Earth is orbiting overhead. If we can blast 50 women into space, we will someday launch a woman into the White House."

On to November

The upbeat song "We Are Family" filled the air following Clinton's speech. And she did manage to convince some in attendance that party unity is vitally important.

Julie Allen of Washington, D.C., declared her support for Clinton's former rival to Scholastic News Online after the rally.

"I will support Obama in this election," she said. "I'm sure that he will also do great things for our country. It was too bad that he and Hillary both had to run at the same time."

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK

Read today’s story and answer the following question.

blog it After such an intense battle through the primaries and caucuses, do you think the Democratic party can come together to support Senator Barack Obama's campaign for President? Why or why not?

Tell us what you think on the Scholastic News Online Blog!


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About the Author

Madison Hartke-Weber is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

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