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WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton ended her historic campaign for the presidency on Saturday and told supporters to unite behind rival Barack Obama, closing out a race that was as grueling as it was groundbreaking.
The former first lady, who as recently as Tuesday declared herself the strongest candidate, gave Obama an unqualified endorsement and pivoted from her role as determined foe to absolute ally.
"The way to continue our fight now to accomplish the goals for which we stand is to take our energy, our passion, our strength and do all we can to help elect Barack Obama, the next president of the United States," she said in a speech before cheering supporters packed into the ornate National Building Museum, not far from the White House she longed to govern from.
"Today as I suspend my campaign, I congratulate him on the victory he has won and the extraordinary race he has run. I endorse him and throw my full support behind him and I ask of you to join me in working as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me," the New York senator said in her 28-minute address.