Two days after Barack Obama (photo) in effect clinched the nomination for November’s Us presidential election, he held an unannounced meeting with his defeated rival, Hillary Clinton.
They talked about bringing their campaigns together and uniting the party, said a spokesman for Mr Obama.
Hillary Clinton distanced herself from reports saying that she was hoping to stang as vice-presidential running mate.
The last-minute meeting took place in Washington, where Barack Obama spent the day campaigning in the Republican stronghold of Virginia, which shows that now he is targeting voters who might be drawn to Republican candidate, John McCain (photo).
The Illinois senator also held large rallies in the state.
Mr Obama is facing a lot of pressure from Clinton backers who want him to choose her as his running mate. The Democratic presumptive nominee has announced a team that will help him make his selection, and said he will not be rushed.
A Democratic source told ABC News that the meeting was held at the Washington home of senior Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein.
Senator Obama’s choice
Reports say Both Clinton and Obama have put teams in place to handle communications between their respective camps, in the coming days.
A joint-ticket for the presidency would be a route to pulling together the pair’s diverse constituencies, said the senator Feinstein.
Mrs Clinton (photo) said she would be “open” to the idea of being Mr Obama’s running mate, on Tuesday.
But on Thursday, a statement from the Clinton campaign said : “While Senator Clinton has made clear throughout this process that she will do whatever she can to elect a Democrat to the White House, she is not seeking the vice presidency.”
It adds: “The choice here is Senator Obama’s and his alone.”
In Washington, BBC’s Andy Gallacher says that if Barack Obama were to choose her as his running mate, it could be seen as a tactical move to win over the almost 18m people who cast their votes for Hillary Clinton.
But he adds that Mr Obama already said it may be some time before he picks a running mate.
In order to thank her supporters and congratulate Mr Obama and extend her “support for his candidacy”, Mrs Clinton said, in an email to supporters, that she would hold an event in Washington on Saturday.
She would play a role
“This has been a long and hard-fought campaign, but as I have always said, my differences with Senator Obama are small compared to the differences we have with Senator McCain and the Republicans”, she said.
“I will be speaking on Saturday about how together we can rally the party behind Senator Obama.”
Since the end of the primary season, on Tuesday, Mr Obama has paid tribute to Mrs Clinton and hinted that she would play a role in any future Obama administration.
In Bristow, at a rally in northern Virginia on Thursday, he told a large crowd that he was “a better candidate because of the work she did”.
“Whatever differences exist between me and Hillary Clinton, they pale into insignificance in comparison with those that exist between us and the other side”, he added.
Democrats sense an opportunity in Virginia, even though it’s been 44 years since one of their nominees won the state in a presidential election, say correspondents.
John McCain, the Republican party’s candidate, has already challenged Mr Obama to take part in debates in 10 town hall meetings, before August’s Democratic convention. The Obama team is said to be considering the invitation.