As Hillary Clinton formally laid her US presidential hopes to rest at an emotional final rally, speculation is raging about what role she will play in the Democrats’ campaign.
Firmly endorsing her former rival Barack Obama, she urged her supporters to do the same.
“Now, when I started this race, I intended to win back the White House and make sure we have a president who puts our country back on the path to peace, prosperity and progress and that is exactly what we are going to do, by ensuring that Barack Obama walks through the doors of the Oval Office on January 20, 2009,” she told a crowd of about 2,000.
For many Clinton loyalists, switching allegiances will be painful and take some time. Some spoke of heartbreak and devastation that the one-time frontrunner had lost the party’s nominating race.
“I think she is a great woman and she has done a great job as New York senator and I am hoping that she will be the vice-presidential candidate,” said one supporter at the rally in Washington.
“She did absolutely what she needed to do,” another added.
“She has run a wonderful campaign. Both she and Senator Obama have. And I think there is no question Democrats, Independents and even Republicans are going to rally around Senator Obama.”
While that remains to be seen, so does Barack Obama’s choice of running mate. In a statement, however, he said he was “thrilled and honoured” to have Clinton’s support.