Obama offers to meet with Clinton “once the dust settles”
WATERFORD, Mich. – Barack Obama praised rival Hillary Clinton as “an outstanding public servant” and said he hopes to meet with her sometime after the final Democratic presidential nomination contests take place on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters outside a Rite-Aid distribution center in Waterford, Michigan, the Illinois senator gave more details about a conversation he had with Clinton when he called her on Sunday to congratulate her on her win in Puerto Rico.
“There aren’t many people who understand exactly how hard she’s been working. I’m one of them,” Obama said of their hard-fought race.
“I told her that once the dust has settled, I was looking forward to meeting with her at a time and place of her choosing,” he said.
Obama, who hopes he will rack up enough delegates this week to clinch the Democratic nomination, has been making a point of publicly praising the New York senator. His hope is to ease divisions that have opened up in the party during the months of campaigning.
Some Democrats worry the rift among Democratic voters may put the party at a disadvantage in the November election against Republican Sen. John McCain.
At a raucus gathering over the weekend, the Democratic party’s rules committee backed a compromise unfavorable to Clinton for the seating of disputed Michigan and Florida delegations at the party’s August convention.
The decision fanned anger on the part of some Clinton supporters. The committee rejected a Clinton-backed proposal to seat all the Florida delegates at full strength, then backed compromises seating both the Michigan and Florida delegations while cutting their voting power.
Clinton’s supporters were particularly angry about the decision to award Obama delegates in Michigan, where he did not even appear on the ballot.
REUTERS/Jason Reed (Sen. Barack Obama speaks in Detroit, Michigan, June 2, 2008)