WISCONSINREPORT.COM (06/27/08) - Democratic Presidential Primary rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton made a show of unity today (Friday, June 27th) in a community aptly named Unity, New Hampshire. It was the first joint public appearance since what some observers called a divisive Democratic primary race ended. The campaign speeches in Unity was the start of Hillary's assurance she will work toward Obama becoming the next president of the United States, even though for awhile it seemed to some, she might hold a grudge.
"Unity is not only a beautiful place as we can see, it's a wonderful feeling isn't it? And I know when we start here in this field in Unity, we'll end on the steps of the Capitol when Barack Obama takes the oath of office as our next president," Clinton said as she and Obama took the stage together.
Hillary Clinton says she and Obama will stand shoulder to shoulder toward the end of putting a Democrat in the White House again.
To the relief of Democrats worried that the long primary battle had polarized their party beyond repair, Hillary supporters who aren't going to suppot the Democratic Primary victor appeared to be in the minority among the thousands of people who came out to the afternoon rally.
Many Clinton supporters have said they would rather vote for the Republican candidate, John McCain, rather than vote for Obama, who defeated the first serious woman candidate for President. But, since those initial sour grapes reactions, most former Clinton supporters say they will support Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, even if some of them have reservations.
The event was held outside the Unity Elementary School, and was the first joint campaign appearance between the two brightest stars in the Democratic party since Hillary Clinton dropped out of the presidential race and threw her support behind Barack Obama.
Obama praised both Clinton and her husband, President Clinton, as allies and pillars of the Democratic Party, saying: "We need them. We need them badly," Obama said.
"Not just my campaign, but the American people need their service and their vision and their wisdom in the months and years to come because that's how we're going to bring about unity in the Democratic Party. And that's how we're going to bring about unity in America," Obama pointed out.
Hillary Clinton noted that Arizona U.S. Senator John McCain and the Republican Party probably hoped she wouldn't join forces with Obama.
"But I've got news for them: We are one party, we are one America and we are not going to rest until we take back our country and put it once again on the path to peace, prosperity and progress in the 21st century," Clinton said as the crowd of 6,000 cheered.
Hillary encouraged her supporters to join with Obama's "to create an unstoppable force for change we can all believe in." She noted she's had a "front-row seat" to Obama's candidacy and praised "his grace and his grit."
The campaign rally took place in one of the wide-open fields of the tiny town of 1,700. The crowd overflowed some bleacher seats.
The event site was carefully chosen for it's name and location in a battleground state. The voters of Unity game exactly 107 votes to each candidate in New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary in January.
Clinton said McCain offered nothing more than a continuation of President Bush's policies.
"In the end, Senator McCain and President Bush are like two sides of the same coin, and it doesn't amount to a whole lot of change," Clinton said. "If you think we need a new course, a new agenda, then vote for Barack Obama and you will get the change that you need and deserve."
She addressed any of her backers who are considering not voting or voting for McCain instead of Obama: "I strongly urge you to reconsider."
Hillary urged Democrats, Independents and Republicans who were among her Primary supporters to support and vote for Barack Obama in the upcoming November presidential election, because "I know that he'll work for you."
"He'll fight for you, and he'll stand up for you every single day in the White House," Hillary Clinton said, calling Obama "a leader who invests in our future."