No Concession, But Clinton Implies Obama Will Be Next President

(CBS)
From CBS News' Fernando Suarez:

WASHINGTON -- Just one day after Barack Obama clinched the Democratic Party's nomination, there has been no move by Hillary Clinton to bow out of the race, but at a conference today Clinton did drop hints that Obama will be the next president.

During the annual conference of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) meeting in Washington today Clinton defended Obama's record and support for Israel. "I know, I know that Senator Obama understands what is at stake here. It has been an honor to contest these primaries with him. It is an honor to call him my friend and let me be very clear: I know that Senator Obama will be a good friend to Israel," Clinton told the crowd of thousands gathered at the Washington Convention Center.

At no point did Clinton refer to herself as the next president nor did she lay out policy that she would enforce as president.

Clinton who is a Senator from New York and represents a large Jewish-American population tried to appease some who worry about Obama's commitment to Israel. "I know that Senator Obama shares my view that the next president must be ready to say to the world, 'Americas position is unchanging, our resolve unyielding, our stance non- negotiable the United States stands with Israel now and forever.'"

Clinton's speech comes amid rumors that she is likely to step aside and embrace Obama as the party's nominee in the coming days. But at this morning's conference Clinton made it a point to focus on Israeli-American issues.

"My support for Israel does not come recently or lightly. I know it is right in my head, in my heart and in my gut and that is exactly the commitment we need in our next president, a Democratic president," said Clinton.

Later, during Obama's remarks at the same event, he took the opportunity to praise Clinton.

"I want to publicly acknowledge Hillary Clinton for the outstanding race that she has run. She is a true friend of Israel, she is a great senator from New York, she is an extraordinary leader of the Democratic party and she has made history alongside me over the last 16 months. So I'm very proud to have competed against her," he said.

Clinton is expected to spend the rest of the day making phone calls to party leaders and supporters and coming to a decision as to how to proceed in her campaign.