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Obama Praises Clinton as Party Rallies Around Him

North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley gives thumbs up to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., before Obama speaks about the economy at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, N.C., June 9, 2008. (Associated Press)

Updated 3:48 p.m.
By Perry Bacon Jr.
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Two days after Hillary Clinton conceded, the reunification of the Democratic Party continued as Barack Obama was joined by prominent Clinton supporters in an economic speech here.

"I just want to take a minute to thank Senator Clinton for the kind and generous support she offered on Saturday," he said at the start of his speech here to a crowd of several hundred. "She ran an historic campaign that shattered barriers on behalf of my daughters and women everywhere who now know there are no limits to their dreams. And more, she inspired millions of women and men with her strength, her courage, and her unyielding commitment to the causes that brought us here today -- the hopes and aspirations of working Americans."

That praise of Clinton, Obama's first public remarks since she left the race, came after North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley introduced Obama by saying "I know I'm late but I'm on the train." Easley had backed Clinton in last month's primary here, which Obama won easily.

Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards and his wife Elizabeth sat in the front row of the speech. Democratic Governors Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Brian Schweitzer of Montana attended Obama's speech as well.

This item originally reported that Govs. Martin O'Malley of Md. and Tim Kaine of Va. were at the event, as well. Thought they were billed as attending by the Obama campaign, they were not, in fact, able to appear.

By Web Politics Editor  |  June 9, 2008; 1:31 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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Next: Obama Launches National Tour

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