Clinton suspends campaign, endorses Obama

Mark Wilson/Getty Images Speaking for about 30 minutes today at the National Building Museum — site of many presidents’ inaugural balls — New York Sen. Hillary Clinton vowed to work her heart out for Barack Obama and minimized differences between the two Democratic rivals. “I endorse him and throw my full support behind him,” she ...

594706_080607_clinton22.jpg
594706_080607_clinton22.jpg

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Speaking for about 30 minutes today at the National Building Museum -- site of many presidents' inaugural balls -- New York Sen. Hillary Clinton vowed to work her heart out for Barack Obama and minimized differences between the two Democratic rivals. "I endorse him and throw my full support behind him," she said, and even endorsed his catchphrase, "Yes, We Can." As Fox News's Chris Wallace said, "She checked off all the boxes" needed to convince Democrats that she is going to do her best to help put Obama in the Oval Office.

But she also said a few small things that I'm sure some pundits will seize upon as evidence that she plans to run again, perhaps in 2012. (My own view is that it's essentially unknowable, but she would be foolish to foreclose that option.) She said that although her supporters weren't able to put a woman in the White House "this time," her campaign had broken a huge barrier in American politics. She asked her supporters to support Obama (amid scattered boos), but she also thanked them for their "ongoing support" of her. She suspended but did not end her campaign, though the Times explains the move as "a technicality that will allow her to raise money to retire her debt and to control the delegates she won... not an indication that she has any intention of resuming it."

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Speaking for about 30 minutes today at the National Building Museum — site of many presidents’ inaugural balls — New York Sen. Hillary Clinton vowed to work her heart out for Barack Obama and minimized differences between the two Democratic rivals. “I endorse him and throw my full support behind him,” she said, and even endorsed his catchphrase, “Yes, We Can.” As Fox News’s Chris Wallace said, “She checked off all the boxes” needed to convince Democrats that she is going to do her best to help put Obama in the Oval Office.

But she also said a few small things that I’m sure some pundits will seize upon as evidence that she plans to run again, perhaps in 2012. (My own view is that it’s essentially unknowable, but she would be foolish to foreclose that option.) She said that although her supporters weren’t able to put a woman in the White House “this time,” her campaign had broken a huge barrier in American politics. She asked her supporters to support Obama (amid scattered boos), but she also thanked them for their “ongoing support” of her. She suspended but did not end her campaign, though the Times explains the move as “a technicality that will allow her to raise money to retire her debt and to control the delegates she won… not an indication that she has any intention of resuming it.”

On the whole, I’d say Clinton did what the Obama team wanted. Aside from two isolated references to the “18 million,” she never suggested (as she did last Tuesday) that she would be the better adversary for John McCain. Now it’s up to Obama to win over her disappointed supporters.

UPDATE: Here’s the text of her speech.

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