WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton's name will be placed in nomination at the Democratic convention, a move aimed at generating enthusiasm among the vanquished candidate's still-sizable corps of reluctant Barack Obama supporters.
Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, and Clinton, the New York senator defeated earlier this year in a close, often-bitter nominating race, made the joint announcement Thursday.
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”Since June, Senators Obama and Clinton have been working together to ensure a Democratic victory this November,“ the statement said.
”They are both committed to winning back the White House and to ensuring that the voices of all 35 million people who participated in this historic primary election are respected and heard in Denver. To honor and celebrate these voices and votes, both Senator Obama's and Senator Clinton's names will be placed in nomination.“
Many of Clinton's backers remain wary of the presumptive nominee. When the two appeared in Unity, N.H., in late June to show that they were together, the crowd cheered Clinton but was lukewarm toward Obama.
The Illinois senator is in a virtual tie with presumptive Republican nominee John McCain in many national polls, and he needs a smooth, unifying convention to give him momentum.
”I am convinced that honoring Senator Clinton's historic campaign in this way will help us celebrate this defining moment in our history and bring the party together in a strong united fashion,“ he said in a statement Thursday.
A new Pew Research Center poll, released Wednesday, found that Obama has picked up 72 percent of Clinton's supporters but that 18 percent said they were likely to vote for McCain and the remaining 10 percent were undecided.
”The Obama campaign has made no significant headway among former Clinton backers over the past two months. The voting preferences of Clinton's supporters are virtually identical to earlier polls in June and July,“ a poll analysis said.
Clinton is scheduled to speak to the convention on Aug. 26, its second night and the 88th anniversary of the ratification of the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote. Former President Bill Clinton will speak the next night.