It is worth saying; as proud as I am of our victory in this primary, the competition between Barack and Hillary was never an argument over profoundly different policy prescriptions for America. Had Hillary Clinton been the nominee, and had she won the presidency and delivered her agenda - it would have looked a lot like Barack's.
Now that Barack is the nominee, and assuming that with the full support of Hillary and a united Democratic party he wins the presidency, many of the issues that Hillary Clinton believes in and advocates for will benefit just as much as if she had been the nominee herself.
On the other hand, if John McCain wins the presidency because Democrats are divided, Hillary Clinton will be the loser far more than she is today, because not just herself but all of her most cherished ideas will be set back. She doesn't want that any more than we do.
I wanted you to be one of the first to know: on Saturday, I will hold an event in Washington D.C. to thank everyone who has supported my campaign. Over the course of the last 16 months, I have been privileged and touched to witness the incredible dedication and sacrifice of so many people working for our campaign. Every minute you put into helping us win, every dollar you gave to keep up the fight meant more to me than I can ever possibly tell you.
On Saturday, I will extend my congratulations to Senator Obama and my support for his candidacy. 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.
I have said throughout the campaign that I would strongly support Senator Obama if he were the Democratic Party's nominee, and I intend to deliver on that promise.
When I decided to run for president, I knew exactly why I was getting into this race: to work hard every day for the millions of Americans who need a voice in the White House.
I made you -- and everyone who supported me -- a promise: to stand up for our shared values and to never back down. I'm going to keep that promise today, tomorrow, and for the rest of my life.
I will be speaking on Saturday about how together we can rally the party behind Senator Obama. The stakes are too high and the task before us too important to do otherwise.
I know as I continue my lifelong work for a stronger America and a better world, I will turn to you for the support, the strength, and the commitment that you have shown me in the past 16 months. And I will always keep faith with the issues and causes that are important to you.
In the past few days, you have shown that support once again with hundreds of thousands of messages to the campaign, and again, I am touched by your thoughtfulness and kindness.
I can never possibly express my gratitude, so let me say simply, thank you.
Hillary Rodham Clinton