Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama came together in a very public show of unity in the very small town of Unity, NH (where, during the primary season in New Hampshire, Clinton won 107 votes and Obama won 107 votes) yesterday to show the Democratic party and the country as a whole that they are now on the same team … the team that intends to win back the White House come November. Here are a few photos from yesterday’s unity rally in Unity, NH:
Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton came to this tiny town of Unity on Friday for their first public appearance after a bitter primary fight. Less certain was whether Unity would come to them. “We had a spirited dialogue,” acknowledged Mrs. Clinton, speaking first before a crowd of roughly 3,000, many laughing. She was referring to the presidential nomination campaign, not the extended time the former rivals spent together Friday en route to the premiere of what the Obama campaign hopes will be a long-running buddy movie, at least through November. “That was the nicest way I could think of phrasing it,” Mrs. Clinton added, to more laughter. Unity was both the venue and the watchword of the heavily choreographed event, held on the grounds of an old elementary school, adjoined by fields of wildflowers. Event organizers were hoping to evoke the feel of a latter-day Woodstock — only with better weather, more portable toilets and no skinny-dipping. It was left to the main acts, Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton, to supply the peace and love. “Unity is not only a beautiful place, as we can see, it’s a wonderful feeling, isn’t it?” Mrs. Clinton said while Mr. Obama sat on a stool, nodding in agreement. A few minutes later, Mr. Obama said of his vanquished rival, “I know firsthand how good she is, how tough she is, how passionate she is, how committed she is.” Woodstock or no, Unity at least provided the ultimate festival for students of political body language. Mr. Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, and Mrs. Clinton appeared arm in arm, waving to a cheering crowd. U2′s “Beautiful Day” blared over loudspeakers, sputtering out for a few nervous seconds before recovering. Mr. Obama’s too-long blue tie went nicely with Mrs. Clinton’s blue pantsuit … The Unity spirit was every bit in keeping with that of recent days. Mrs. Clinton returned Tuesday to the Senate and spoke of her commitment to campaign for Mr. Obama. The two held a joint fund-raiser in Washington on Thursday night, and later in the evening, Mr. Obama’s ever-present “body man,” Reggie Love, was seen dining in Georgetown with his Clinton counterpart, Huma Abedin, and two other people. On Friday, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama arrived simultaneously at an airport in Washington, where they exchanged a kiss and smiled as they stepped onto a chartered plane. They chatted through the 70-minute flight, sitting side by side, and continued the conversation during a 60-minute bus ride to Unity. As has been well chronicled, this remote town near the Vermont border was chosen not just for its Hollywood name, but also for the perfect split of votes cast in the New Hampshire primary — 107 for each candidate. “Divine intervention,” explained Jeanne Shaheen, a former New Hampshire governor and now a Democratic candidate for the United States Senate. Less well known is that the town of Unity was nearly torn asunder by a land dispute in the 18th century. Then called Buckingham, it was rechristened Unity in 1764 after the conflict was resolved. Democrats were seeking a similar rapprochement Friday, and both principals were very much with the program. “I hope you’ll work as hard for Senator Obama as many of you did for me,” Mrs. Clinton said, directing her remarks to her supporters, some of them with Hillary T-shirts and placards. Mr. Obama said, “Hillary and I may have started with separate goals in this campaign, but we made history together” … “We have to make it a priority in our lives to elect Barack Obama the next president of the United States,” Mrs. Clinton told her supporters, including many who came with their own checks for Mr. Obama’s campaign. “This was a hard-fought campaign,” she said. “That’s what made it so exciting and intense and why people’s passions ran so high on both sides. But we are a family, and we have an opportunity now to really demonstrate clearly we do know what’s at stake, and we will do whatever it takes to win back this White House.” Mr. Obama responded in a similar spirit. “For 16 months, Senator Clinton and I have shared the stage as rivals,” he said. “But, today, I couldn’t be happier and more honored and more moved that we’re sharing this stage as allies.” He largely stuck to his standard stump speech, sprinkled heavily with “Hillarys” and “Unitys.” “Thank you, Senator Hillary Clinton; thank you, New Hampshire,” he said, and the candidates rejoined at the podium for more synchronized waving. After a few seconds, Mrs. Clinton disappeared down some back steps, leaving Mr. Obama on stage by himself.
Finally … the day I’ve longed for has finally come at last. I make it no secret that I am rooting and will work for a Democratic Party win in November and altho I was on Team Hillary during the primary portion of the campaign, I am wholeheartedly on Team Obama. I feel it is imperative that the Democrats win back the Presidency in the coming election and I can’t even convey how THRILLED I am that we are on the verge of electing our first President of color. I honestly wasn’t sure I’d ever see such a possibility in my lifetime (I always hoped) but now we are on the verge of that reality. It’s a very exciting time for the United States … I look forward to bearing witness to history when Barack Obama becomes our next President in November :)