Denver, Aug.28 : Former U.S. President Bill Clinton has said that he believes that Afro-American Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama will lead the country like no one else has in the past.
In a ringing endorsement of Haiwaiian-born Obama ahead of the November 4, 2008 presidential election, Clinton said: "Barack Obama is ready to lead America and restore American leadership in the world. Barack Obama is ready to be president of the United States."
The confidence with which it was said, belied earlier reports of Clinton questioning Obama's fitness for the presidency and seething resentment at the tone of the primaries campaign between his wife and Obama.
Declared his unqualified support for the Democratic nominee, Clinton was quoted by the New York Times as saying that Obama is the right person to carry the party standard against the likely Republican nominee, Senator John McCain of Arizona.
It was the endorsement Obama and his staff had hoped for, but it came only at the end of weeks of tense and unfriendly negotiations between the Clinton and Obama camps.
Clinton refused to share his speech draft with the Obama campaign until shortly before he delivered it, and he was still tinkering with the language moments before he stepped to the microphone at the Pepsi Center here.
Obama achieved his historic ascension with the aid of Hillary Clinton, who urged the New York convention delegation to cast its votes for him, putting him within reach of the nomination.
At 4:48 p.m. local time, Hillary called on the Democratic National Convention to end the roll call and nominate him by acclamation.
"With eyes firmly fixed on the future in the spirit of unity, with the goal of victory, with faith in our party and country, let's declare together in one voice, right here and right now, that Barack Obama is our candidate and he will be our president," Mrs. Clinton said.
The roll-call vote took place in the late afternoon - the first time in at least 50 years that Democrats have not scheduled their roll call on prime-time television - as Democrats sought to avoid drawing attention to the lingering resentments between Clinton and Obama delegates.
Yet the historic nature of the vote escaped no one.It fell to Mrs. Clinton to put Obama over the top at 4:47 p.m. Mountain Time.