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Obama Democratic Nominee for President, Clinton to back Obama

Posted Jul 28 2008 8:15pm

Based on the latest tally of all US media organizations, Obama now has passed the threshold of 2,118 national convention delegates needed to clinch this year’s Democratic nomination, becoming the first African-American presidential nominee of a major US party.

“Tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States,” Barack Obama said in a prepared speech to be delivered at a rally in St. Paul, Minnesota.

“Tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another – a journey that will bring a new and better day to America,” he said.

Trying to unite the party as quick as possible, he praised his rival senator Hillary Clinton.

“Our party and our country are better off because of her, and I am a better candidate for having had the honor to compete with Hillary Rodham Clinton,” Obama said.

“Senator Hillary Clinton has made history in this campaign not just because she’s a woman who has done what no woman has done before, but because she’s a leader who inspires millions of Americans with her strength, her courage, and her commitment to the causes that brought us here tonight,” he said.

Hillary Clinton is set to formally drop out of the race for the White House and put her support behind Barack Obama.

Mr Obama, the senator from Illinois, clinched the Democratic nomination on Tuesday when a number of superdelegates, who can back any candidate, flocked to his camp.

In an email to supporters, Mrs Clinton said: “On Saturday, I will extend my congratulations to Senator Obama and my support for his candidacy.

“This has been a long and hard-fought campaign, but as I have always said, my differences with Senator Obama are small compared to the differences we have with Senator McCain and the Republicans.

“I will be speaking on Saturday about how together we can rally the party behind Senator Obama.”

Mr Obama is not expected to appear at the rally in Washington, but the extent of the former First Lady’s endorsement will be of keen interest to the his camp.

She won more than 17 million voters during the Democratic battle, and Mr Obama will need many of those to defeat Republican John McCain in November.

Speculation remains over whether Obama might consider Mrs Clinton as his running mate.

Since their private meeting in Washington on Thursday, Mr Obama has told reporters to stop asking him about his vice presidential thoughts because he will not tip his hand.

Mrs Clinton’s campaign has issued a statement that she was not seeking the vice presidential slot.

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