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Clinton Asks Latino Leaders to Back Obama

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Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) tells members of NALEO to support Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

By Ed O'Keefe
Hillary Clinton, playing the role of good Democratic soldier, asked a key group of Latino leaders today to adapt their support of her campaign to Barack Obama's candidacy.

"I look forward to traveling around this country and seeing so many of you again," Clinton told a luncheon hosted by the National Association of Latino Elected Officials.

"Your support sustained me, your votes strengthened my campaign, and your passionate engagement moved our nation forward. I don't want to see that forgotten or overlooked. I want to see participation among Latino voters to continue."

The New York senator entered the Renaissance Hotel ballroom in Washington, D.C., to a loud standing ovation, and -- in a visual demonstration of her Latino support -- was escorted on stage by Reps. Hilda Solis (D-Calif.), Ruben Hinojosa, Joe Baca and activist Dolores Huerta. All four campaigned with the senator during the primaries.

"I know Senator Obama. I have served with him now for nearly four years in the Senate. I campaigned with him for more than 16 months on the campaign trail. I have stood on stage with him in 22 debates -- but who's counting?" she said.

"I know that this was a hard-fought primary campaign, and I'm very grateful for the passion and determination of everyone who supported me," Clinton said.

"We love you Hillary," a woman in the audience shouted.

"Thank you," Clinton said, as applause erupted.

"But every issue you care about personally, every issue that your constituents care about ... is really at risk," she continued. "We cannot afford four more years of the same. It won't be good for any of us. And therefore we have to be determined to chart a new course, and we cannot do that without electing Senator Obama our president. So that is what I'm going to be working for."

Clinton is scheduled to introduce some of her top financial donors to Obama this evening in Washington, and will join him for a "unity rally" in Unity, N.H. tomorrow. While Obama beats John McCain among Latino voters in recent polls, Clinton regularly bested Obama among Latinos during the primary season.

By Web Politics Editor  |  June 26, 2008; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Barack Obama  
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