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Bill Clinton Offers Support To Obama

WASHINGTON (AP) - Former President Clinton said through a
spokesman Tuesday that he is committed to helping Barack Obama
become president, his first comments in support of his wife's
former rival since their primary ended three weeks ago.

Relations between the last Democratic president and the
candidate who wants to be the next one are still frosty - they
still haven't spoken in the aftermath of the heated campaign. But
Bill Clinton extended an offer to help in a one-sentence statement
from spokesman Matt McKenna.

"President Clinton is obviously committed to doing whatever he
can and is asked to do to ensure Senator Obama is the next
president of the United States," McKenna said.

It's not clear what Obama might ask him to do. The campaign
wasn't specific when asked.

"A unified Democratic Party is going to be a powerful force for
change this year and we're confident President Clinton will play a
big role in that," said Obama spokesman Bill Burton.

Bill Clinton will not be attending the unity rally Friday
between the two former rivals Friday in New Hampshire. McKenna said
the former president is in Europe this week to celebrate Nelson
Mandela's 90th birthday, give speeches and work for the William J.
Clinton Foundation.

Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke Sunday and talked about
Obama connecting with the former president sometime in the future,
Burton said.

Bill Clinton was an outspoken critic of Obama during the primary
race. He said Obama's candidacy was a "fairy tale" and raised
questions about whether the first-term Illinois senator had the
experience to lead the country. During one debate Obama snapped at
Hillary Clinton, "I can't tell who I'm running against
sometimes."


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