Hillary Clinton quits, backs Obama's Presidential bid

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Washington, Jun 8 (UNI) Senator Hillary Clinton finally gave up her quest to become the first woman President of the United States and pledged support to her Democratic Party rival in the November presidential election.

"Today, as I suspend my campaign, I congratulate him [Obama] on the victory he has won and the extraordinary race he has run," she told a meeting of her supporters here yesterday. "I endorse him and throw my full support behind him." The former first lady who asked her supporters to unite behind Senator Obama said, "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," In all, there were 54 primary elections and caucuses and 22 debates in the 17-month long race for the party ticket. Obama, the only black member in the 100-member US Senate, secured the more than 2,100 delegates he needed to claim the party's nomination and become the first African-American candidate for a major political party in the United States.

She addressed her supporters at the National Building Museum here.

Also present there were her weeping 89-year-old mother, Dorothy Rodham, and 28-year old daughter Chelsea.

Obama who watched his speech on television at his home in Chicago, said, "I honour her today for the valiant and historic campaign she has run." In a statement, he said, "she shattered barriers on behalf of my daughters and women everywhere, who now know that there are no limits to their dreams.

Obama (46), the son of a black Kenyan father and white American mother, will be formally nominated at the party's convention in Denver in August and will face 71-year-old veteran Republican Senator John McCain in the November general election.

Hillary Clinton, the two-term Senator from New York, initially led in the primary contest. But, the former first lady ultimately lost to a comparative newcomer who symbolised the strong desire for a change in the leadership in the Democratic Party.


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