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Party Unity Begins: Hillary Clinton Suspends Campaign, Endorses Barack Obama

After a long, grueling primary season, Senator Hillary Clinton called for party unity and vowed to support Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Dem

After a long, grueling primary season, Senator Hillary Clinton called for party unity and vowed to support Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee. In an inspirational speech to supporters in Washington D.C., Clinton called on her supporters to rally behind Obama:

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The way to continue our fight now, to accomplish the goals for which we stand is to take our energy, our passion, our strength, and do all we can to help elect Barack Obama the next President of the United States. [applause] Today, as I suspend my campaign, I congratulate him on the victory he has won and the extraordinary race he has run. I endorse him and throw my full support behind him. And I ask all of you to join me in working as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me.

I have served in the Senate with him for four years, I have been in this campaign with him for sixteen months. I have stood on the stage and gone toe-to-toe with him in twenty-two debates. I’ve had a front row seat to his candidacy and I have seen his strength and determination, his grace and his grit. In his own life, Barack Obama has lived the American Dream. As a community organizer and State Senate and as a United States Senator, he has dedicated himself to insuring the dream is realized and in this campaign, he has inspired so many to become involved in the democratic process, and invested in our common future. Now when I started this race, I intended to win back the White House and make sure we have a President who puts our country back on the path to peace, prosperity and progress. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do by insuring that Barack Obama walks through the doors of the Oval Office on January 20, 2009.

This was the speech that she needed to give. Senator Clinton showed class, courageousness, determination and a unshakable commitment to the causes she and the Democratic party believe in -- yes, there were bumps in the road over the last 16 months, but she never gave up and we commend her for sticking to her guns.

UPDATE: Heather has put up the entire speech up on YouTube: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. Full transcripts available here. MSNBC will rerun the speech in its entirety at 4:00 pm Eastern.

UPDATE II: As a further sign of unity, Hillary Clinton is showing her support for Obama on the front page of her website, and Barack Obama says Thank You to her on his homepage, and wrote this inspiring message to her and her supporters.

We must now be relentless as we move forward, to do everything we can to elect Barack Obama. Visit his campaign website and contribute what you can. If you can't donate money, please donate your time and volunteer.

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