Hillary Clinton has joined Barack Obama at a rally
– their first public event since she pulled out of the race to be the
Democratic presidential candidate.
The rally in Unity, New Hampshire, was an opportunity for
supporters of the party to come together after the divisive primary
The event follows a joint dinner in Washington where Mr Obama offered help to clear Mrs Clinton’s campaign debts.
Mrs Clinton urged supporters at the Democrat rally to vote for Mr Obama.
"If you think we need a new course, a new agenda,
then vote for Barack Obama and you will get the change you need," she
told the cheering crowd.
"He will work for you, he will fight for you and he will stand up for you every day in the White House."
After her speech, Mr Obama joined the crowd in chanting "thank you Hillary".
He said the Democrats needed Mrs Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, if they were to win the presidency.
"We need them badly – not just my campaign, but the American
people need their service and their vision and their wisdom," Mr Obama
Although he and Mrs Clinton had started the campaign for the
Democrat nomination with different agendas, Mr Obama said they had
"made history together".
The BBC’s North America editor, Justin Webb, says the get-together in Unity is rich in political symbolism.
As well as the name, it is also the town whose Democrats were evenly split – 107 voted for Obama, 107 for Clinton.
Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton greeted each other with a kiss and a
handshake when they caught the flight to New Hampshire on Friday. They
also sat next to each other on the plane, the Associated Press
Prior to Thursday’s dinner, the two had not met in person since two days after the last primaries.
Latest opinion polls suggest that while Mr Obama has made
headway in winning over Mrs Clinton’s supporters since she withdrew
from the nomination race, one in five of them has indicated they will
vote for the Republican candidate, John McCain.
Our correspondent adds that Thursday’s fundraising dinner was
important for both sides – the Clinton campaign needs an injection of
cash to pay off $20m (£10m) debts, but Mr Obama needs the financial
muscle of the Clinton money raisers.
Mrs Clinton’s advisers have warned Mr Obama that her ability
to campaign on his behalf will be limited if she has to spend the
summer raising money to pay off her debts.