Hillary Clinton has delivered a rousing speech at the Democratic convention imploring her supporters to set aside their grudges and disappointment to rally behind Barack Obama.
"Whether you voted for me or voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose," she said as a sea of more than 4,000 Democrats waved Hillary signs along placards hailing Obama and proclaiming Unity.
Democratic leaders hope that the emphatic and enthusiastically-received speech will help heal the wounds that are still raw after a fiercely fought primary battle in which Mrs Clinton secured 18 million votes but was just defeated by Mr Obama.
Her husband former President Bill Clinton and many other supporters dotted around the arena in Denver wiped away tears as she reeled off the reasons she had run for the White House and told the story of a marine who needed medical care.
“Those are the reasons I ran for president. Those are the reasons I support Barack Obama. And those are the reasons I support Barack Obama. And those are the reasons you should too. I want you to ask yourselves, were you in this campaign just for me? Or were you in it for that young marine and others like him.”
The former First Lady, now a New York senator, also delivered the sharpest attack yet against john McCain, Mr Obama’s Republican opponent in November, saying Democrats could not sit on the sidelines and watch Mr McCain win and "squander the promise of our country".
She urged: “No way, no how, no McCain. Barack Obama is my candidate and he must be our president.”
It was a strongly feminist speech by the woman who was vying to become the first female American president. To laughs, she thanked the “sisterhood of the travelling pantsuits” for their backing.
At one point Mr Clinton, who speaks on Wednesday night and remains angry at the way Mr Obama defeated his wife, mouthed the words "I love you".
“We don't need four more years of the last eight years," Mrs Clinton said, bracketing Mr McCain with President George W. Bush.
"John McCain says the economy is fundamentally sound. John McCain doesn't think that 47 million people without health insurance is a crisis. John McCain wants to privatize Social Security. And in 2008, he still thinks it's okay when women don't earn equal pay for equal work.
"With an agenda like that, it makes sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the twin cities. Because these days they're awfully hard to tell apart."
The slogan of “the twin” in the twin cities – Minneapolis-St Paul, where the Republican convention will be held next week – was greeted with a roar of approval from the crowd and is sure to be adopted by Mr Obama.
Most Clinton supporters said afterwards that they would respond to Mrs Clinton’s plea by voting for Mr Obama. But some still said they might support Mr McCain of stay at home.
“I need him to remember that there were 18 million voices that recognised the potential of that woman to lead this country and I don’t think he’s done that,” said Anne Price-Mills, a Washington state delegate.