Senate pals cheer Hillary, Bill Clinton will back Obama

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{image-hialary and obama_25062008.jpg}Washington, June 25 : New York Senator Hillary Clinton received a hearty hurrah from her colleagues on June 25th as she returned to her day job, while hubby Bill offered to work for Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama.

Hillary soaked in applause and hugged colleagues on her first day in the Senate since conceding to Obama this month. "I think we're all glad she came back. I think we're all very, very glad," The New York Daily News quoted Senator Chuck Schumer, as saying after greeting New York's junior senator atop the Capitol steps by wrapping his arms around her. Bill Clinton had a more subdued embrace of Obama, offering for the first time to help the Democrat defeat Republican Senator John McCain in November.

"President Clinton is obviously committed to doing whatever he can and is asked to do to ensure Senator Obama is the next President of the United States," his spokesman Matt McKenna said.

Bill Clinton's campaign debut on Obama's behalf is in the planning stages as both camps first aim to heal wounds opened during the bruising primary.

Team Obama expects a ballyhooed rollout event, rivalling the Hillary-Obama unity rally set for Friday in New Hampshire.

"Senator Obama and Senator Clinton talked about how President Clinton and Senator Obama should connect," said Obama aide Tommy Vietor.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (Democrat-California), a Hillary backer who brokered a peace summit between the former First Lady and Obama on the eve of her concession, said Clinton's return to the Senate tugged at the heartstrings.

Feinstein said. "Did our hearts palpitate? I can't comment - I don't know. Did mine? Somewhat," Feinstein said.

Cheers and clinking of silverware could be heard when Clinton entered the weekly lunch with Democratic senators.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada called it "one of the most emotional caucuses that I've attended."

Addressing reporters, Clinton insisted she's not campaigning for the vice presidential slot.

"This is totally Senator Obama's decision," she said. "And that's the way it should be."

She made a pitch for her supporters to back Obama.

"If you care about the issues I care about and the future that I outlined during my campaign, then you really have to stay with us in the Democratic Party and vote for Senator Obama to be our next President," she said.


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