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US election 2008

Clinton to endorse Obama Saturday, says campaign

Article published on the 2008-06-05 Latest update 2008-06-05 08:48 TU

Clinton waves after speaking at the AIPAC conference(Photo: Reuters)

Clinton waves after speaking at the AIPAC conference
(Photo: Reuters)

US Senator Hillary Clinton is likely to formally concede the Democratic Party’s nomination for president to Senator Barack Obama on Saturday and endorse him. Her campaign issued a statement Wednesday saying she would do so at an event in Washington where she would "thank her supporters and express her support for Senator Obama and party unity." This comes after top Democratic leaders encouraged her to step down.

After Clinton had said Tuesday evening that she would not make any decisions about whether or not to continue the race, four Democratic leaders issued a statement urging her to concede and asking all uncommitted delegates to make their decisions by Friday.

“The voters have spoken,” said the statement released early Wednesday signed by Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Harry Reid and West Virginia’s governor, Joe Manchin III. “Democrats must now turn our full attention to the general election.”

The Clinton campaign’s statement about Saturday’s event came later Wednesday.

With Clinton closing down her bid for the nomination, Obama is now faced with the task of uniting his party around his candidacy to face Republican candidate John McCain in the November general election.

In her speech on Wednesday to the pro-Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac), Clinton praised Obama, her first indication that she might endorse the Illinois Senator.

Obama, not waiting for a formal concession, announced that he was forming a three-person committee to advise him on picking a running mate, which is to include Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of president John F Kennedy, Eric Holder, a deputy attorney general from the Clinton administration, and James Johnson, who has overseen similar committees before.

Clinton supporters spent Wednesday talking up an Obama-Clinton ticket but aides to Obama said he will take his time to decide.