Clinton recruiting her backers to help Obama

Hillary Rodham Clinton is stepping up efforts to swing her supporters behind Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, her former rival for the nomination.

In an outreach dubbed “Hillary Sent Me,” the New York senator was inviting her primary-season partisans Friday to get involved directly in Obama's campaign and donate to it. As part of that, she was urging them to travel to a specific battleground state each weekend, beginning with New Hampshire on Sept. 27, when she will be campaigning for Obama in Michigan.

“Today I am asking all of you to stand up, hit the road and spread the word that we must elect Barack Obama president and we must send a filibuster-proof majority to Congress,” Clinton was telling supporters in a conference call Friday, according to remarks provided to The Associated Press in advance. “This is a call to action. This is a must-do. We all have a role. And there is not a moment to lose.”

As many as 2,000 supporters from all 50 states were expected to participate in the conference call, scheduled for 4 p.m. EDT. Former New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, who is challenging Republican John Sununu for his Senate seat in that state, was also expected to take part.

The effort was organized with the Obama campaign and state Democratic parties nationwide. Its goal: to engage the former first lady's donors and voters — many of whom are still sore over her loss to Obama in the epic primary contest — to put that firmly behind them and help in battleground states.

The New York senator has already campaigned for Obama in Ohio, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico and raised about $5 million for his campaign. “Hillary Sent Me” is her first explicit pitch to her grass roots supporters to get involved, Clinton aides said.

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