Bill Clinton Commited to Obama?

24 06 2008

Former US President Bill Clinton has announced for the first time that he is backing fellow Democrat Barack Obama to win the US presidential election.

Mr Clinton’s wife Hillary was Mr Obama’s biggest rival for the party nomination, and he was often critical of Mr Obama on the campaign trail.

Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton are set to hold a joint rally on Friday.

Mr Clinton will be in Europe to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday and will not attend the rally.

“President Clinton is obviously committed to doing whatever he can and is asked to do to ensure Senator Obama is the next president of the United States,” said spokesman Matt McKenna.

The Obama campaign welcomed Mr Clinton’s declaration of support, saying: “A unified Democratic Party is going to be a powerful force for change this year and we’re confident President Clinton will play a big role in that.”

Relations between Mr Clinton and Mr Obama have been “frosty” since Mrs Clinton suspended her campaign, and the two men have not spoken, the Associated Press news agency reported.

During the primary battle between Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton, Mr Clinton made the headlines when he described Mr Obama’s record of opposition to the Iraq War as a “fairy-tale”, and when he accused Mr Obama of “playing the race card”.

Observers say Mr Obama is making efforts to heal the divisions within the party and win over Democrats who supported Mrs Clinton in the primaries.

To this end, the Obama-Clinton rally on Friday will be held in the town of Unity, New Hampshire, where Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton both received 107 votes in the New Hampshire primary.


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