Hillary Clinton won't be elected president in 2008. She probably won't be vice president either.
Those facts were profoundly disappointing to many of the roughly 1,000 seniors who turned out Thursday -- in driving rain -- to see her campaign for ex-rival Barack Obama in Tamarac, north of Miami. But they put on their game faces and so did Clinton, who spent 18 months doggedly competing against Obama.
''We started on two separate paths, but we are on one journey now,'' Clinton told the audience. "And that journey, if we do our part, if we lend our hearts and heads to the campaign that lies before us, that journey will lead us back to the White House.''
Clinton spent much more time talking about issues dear to Democrats than she did talking about Obama, though she commended his "passion and determination, his grace and his grit.''
Obama is heavily outspending McCain in Florida, but polls show the Democrat slightly behind in the nation's largest battleground state.
''I know very well that Florida has the power to choose the next president of the United States,'' Clinton said.
She fielded questions from reporters after her speech in Tamarac and an earlier event in Boca Raton, a rare occurrence during her campaign in Florida. But she suggested she wouldn't mind being somewhere else. ''I was asked to come, and I came,'' she said.
Most of the queries concerned her name being placed into nomination along with Obama's at the convention. Wasn't that a sign of disunity?
''We're trying to respect and recognize the very strong feelings that 18 million people who voted for me have,'' she said. "I am confident we will have a very strong party come out of Denver.''
Then there was that other question, of course. ''Any questions about the vice presidential choices should be directed to the Obama campaign,'' she said.
Clinton knew her audience at the Kings Point retirement community, a solidly Democratic enclave where any hesitation about Obama is outweighed by hostility toward President Bush. She argued that McCain would amount to a third term for the Bush administration and would ''privatize'' Social Security, the lifeline for many people in the crowd.
Before Clinton's speech, some voters said they were not prepared to throw their support behind Obama. Others said they were ready but only as a protest vote.
''I don't want McCain, that's for sure,'' said 75-year-old Shirley Perla. ``I'd rather have Hillary. I'm still hoping Obama will pick her as vice president.''
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