Washington, June 6 : Hillary Rodham Clinton and likely Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama met privately Thursday night to talk about uniting the Democratic Party.
"Senator Clinton and Senator Obama met tonight and had a productive discussion about the important work that needs to be done to succeed in November," the Huffington Post quoted their campaigns, as saying in a joint statement.
The statement included no details of their talks, as pressure mounted for Obama to invite Clinton to become his running mate.
Reporters travelling with Obama sensed something might be happening between the pair when they arrived at Dulles International Airport after an event in Northern Virginia and Obama was not aboard the airplane.
Asked at the time about the Illinois senator's whereabouts, Gibbs smiled and declined to comment.
Clinton returned to Washington after the last primaries on Tuesday night, when Obama earned the 2,118 delegates he needed to secure the Democratic nomination. She planned to announce Saturday that she was ending her campaign and supporting Obama.
The meeting followed Clinton's disavowal hours earlier of efforts by some supporters who have urged Obama to choose her as his running mate.
"She is not seeking the vice presidency, and no one speaks for her but her," communications director Howard Wolfson said. "The choice here is Senator Obama's and his alone."
Obama is seeking to become the first black president of the United States.
Clinton has told other friends and supporters she would be willing to be Obama's running mate. But her immediate task is to bring her own presidential bid to a close.
In an e-mail to supporters, the New York senator said she "will be speaking on Saturday about how together we can rally the party behind Senator Obama. The stakes are too high and the task before us too important to do otherwise."
Clinton expressed the same sentiment in a conference call with 40 members of her national finance committee, whom she urged to begin raising money for Obama and for the Democratic National Committee.
"She was in good spirits and totally supportive, without qualification, of Senator Obama and his campaign," finance co-chairman Alan Patricof said of the call.
On his campaign plane Thursday, Obama praised Clinton for inspiring millions of voters and said she had opened the doors for his two young daughters to imagine being president one day.
Obama also said he would welcome help from former President Clinton, calling him an "enormous talent."
Obama indicated he intends to take his time making a decision about inviting Hillary Clinton to join the ticket.
"We're not going to be rushed into it. I don't think Senator Clinton expects a quick decision and I don't even know that she's necessarily interested in that," Obama told NBC in an interview.