Hillary Clinton called on Democrats to unite as one party behind Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama, saying that despite an acrimonious primary duel they were on the 'same team'. "We are on the same team, and none of us can sit on the sidelines," said Hillary. With her husband and daughter lending moral support throughout the day, she deferred her own dreams to deliver an emphatic plea to unite behind her rival, Obama, no matter what ill will lingers.
"No way, no how, no McCain", shouted the raucous crowd in the 18,000 capacity arena and held up white signs bearing a stylized version of her signature. The former First Lady said she had not spent the past '35 years in the trenches' to suffer more failed leadership from Republicans.
"We don't have a moment to lose or a vote to spare", said the New York senator. "I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me?'' she said. She urged them instead to remember Marines who have served their country, single mothers, families barely getting by on minimum wage and other struggling Americans.
"You haven't worked so hard over the last 18 months, or endured the last eight years, to suffer through more failed leadership", Clinton told the delegates. "We don't need four more years of the last eight years, more economic stagnation .... more war and less diplomacy,'' said the New York senator, dressed out in a trademark pumpkin-colored pantsuit.
Hillary got a euphoric welcome at her prime-time speech at the Democratic National Convention. She asked supporters and delegates to unite as a single party with a single purpose, The New York Times reported.
Hillary, who was once certain that she would win the Democratic nomination this year, also took steps on Tuesday - deliberate steps, aides said - to keep the door open to a future bid for the presidency.
She planned to rally supporters in her convention speech, and, at an earlier event with 3,000 women, described her passion about her own campaign.
Her aides limited input on the speech from Obama advisers, while seeking advice from her former strategist, Mark Penn, a loathed figure in the Obama camp.
Clinton supporters were in high anticipation here on Tuesday night - a few were seen wearing 'Hillary '08' buttons. Indeed, many of her top fund-raisers are still refusing to work for Obama, and are angered by their treatment at the convention.