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Pledging support to Obama, Clinton notes historic campaign and exits race

Many are calling her Washington speech the best of her campaign.

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On Saturday Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton suspended her presidential campaign after claiming some 18 million votes in Democratic primary races. Below are excerpts from her speech in Washington taken from a Congressional Quarterly transcription.

"Well, this isn't exactly the party I'd planned, but I sure like the company....

I entered this race because I have an old-fashioned conviction that public service is about helping people solve their problems and live their dreams. I've had every opportunity and blessing in my own life, and I want the same for all Americans. And until that day comes, you'll always find me on the front lines of democracy, fighting for the future....

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.... I have seen his strength and determination, his grace and his grit....

We all know this has been a tough fight, but the Democratic Party is a family. And now it's time to restore the ties that bind us together and to come together around the ideals we share, the values we cherish, and the country we love. We may have started on separate journeys, but today our paths have merged....

It is this belief, this optimism that Senator Obama and I share and that has inspired so many millions of our supporters to make their voices heard. So today I am standing with Senator Obama to say: Yes, we can!...

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