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Friday, June 27, 2008

Unity Watch 2: Update 4

C-Span 1: Live coverage New Hampshire Unity Rally NOW

Clinton, Obama, and Unity

Jake Tapper

I’m on the Obama campaign plane right now. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, just got on. They match. He’s wearing a white shirt and baby blue tie, her pantsuit is the same color.

They just sat down next to one another on the plane.

Yes, they’re aware that we’re watching and filming from the cheap seats at the back of the plane.

We’re about to fly from Washington, DC, to Unity, NH, for the big UNITY show.

Hopefully it will be more convincing than last night.

"It was like a dentist's appointment," said one attendee of the "unity" meeting between Obama and Clinton and her top fundraisers at the Mayflower Hotel last night.

Much remains to be negotiated -- will Clinton get a roll call vote at the convention, as she wants? What will be her role on the campaign? Will Bill Clinton ever say anything nice about Obama?

And just how much of Clinton’s more than $10 million in debt will Obama help retire?

Before the event, Obama finance committee chair Penny Pritzker wrote a $4,600 check to Clinton from her and her husband.

"We're helping. It's important," Pritzker said.

Obama and his wife Michelle made a similar contribution.

The notion of the winner helping the loser retire her debt is kind of an odd thing, on its face, however commonplace. Clinton continued her campaign despite Obama’s all-but-insurmountable delegate lead and despite a lack of funds, going into debt to attack his fitness to be commander-in-chief.

And now she wants him and his supporters to help pay that back.

That, in fact, was the big applause line last night. "I'm going to need Hillary by my side campaigning during his election, and I'm going to need all of you,” Obama said, telling the crowd of Clinton supporters that he had told his top moneymen and moneywomen "to get out their checkbooks and start working to make sure Sen. Clinton -- the debt that's out there needs to be taken care of."

Standing O.

"I recognize that this room shared the same passion that a roomful of my supporters would show,” Obama also said. “I do not expect that passion to be transferred. Sen. Clinton is unique, and your relationships with her are unique." But he added, "Sen. Clinton and I at our core agree deeply that this country needs to change."

Clinton for her part thanked her supporters and told them "we have to make it a priority in our lives to elect Barack Obama the next president of the United States. This was a hard-fought campaign. That's what made it so exciting and intense and why people's passions ran so high on both sides. I know my supporters have extremely strong feelings, and I know Barack's do as well. 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."

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