Democratic Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton will hold a special event in Washington on Saturday, June 7 to announce the end of her participation in the campaign to become USA’s first female president. A statement released from the headquarters of the presidential runoff said that Clinton would announce her support of Barack Obama.
Clinton ’s spokesman, Howard Wolfson, said earlier that the event would be hosted on Friday. ABC said in one of its reports that many of Hillary Clinton’s followers put pressure upon the Senator to make her officially leave the presidential race to unite the Democratic Party around Obama.
On Wednesday Hillary Clinton bid farewell to employees of her election headquarters. Many of them were told that their services would no longer be needed after June 6. However, it was later decided to hold the event on Saturday so that as many followers as possible could make their attendance.
"Senator Clinton will be hosting an event in Washington, D.C., to thank her supporters and express her support for Senator Obama and party unity. This event will be held on Saturday to accommodate more of Senator Clinton's supporters who want to attend," her communications director Howard Wolfson said.
Also in the speech, Clinton will urge once-warring Democrats to focus on the general election and defeating Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
Obama Tuesday night secured the 2,118 delegates to claim the Democratic nomination, but Clinton stopped short of acknowledging that milestone. Instead, she was defiant, insisting she was better positioned than Obama to defeat McCain in November.
"What does Hillary want? What does she want?" Clinton said, hours after telling supporters she'd be open to joining Obama as his vice-presidential running mate.
But by Wednesday, other Democrats made it abundantly clear they wanted something, too: a swift end to the nominating contest, the AP says.
Obama also announced he had named a three-person vetting team that included Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy.
An adviser said Clinton and her lieutenants had discussed various ways a presidential candidacy can end, including suspending the campaign to retain control of her convention delegates and sustain her visibility in an effort to promote her signature issue of health care. This adviser spoke on condition of anonymity because officials were not authorized to discuss the conference call Clinton held with her congressional supporters.
Other options include freeing her delegates to back Obama and ending her candidacy unconditionally. The official stressed that neither Clinton nor her inner circle had decided specifically what course to take other than to recognize that the active state of her bid to become the nation's first female president had ended.
On the telephone call with impatient congressional supporters including New York Rep. Charles Rangel, a longtime political patron, Clinton was urged to draw a close to the contentious campaign, or at least express support for Obama. Her decision to acquiesce caught many in the campaign by surprise and left the campaign scrambling to finalize the logistics and specifics behind her campaign departure.
It was an inauspicious end for a candidacy that appeared indestructible when it began 17 months ago.