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Obama, Clinton meet face-to-face

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and his former rival Hillary Clinton met secretly Thursday evening to discuss ways to unite the party, an official from Obama's campaign said.

Obama tells everyone to 'settle down' on ticket talk

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and his former rival Hillary Clinton held a surprise meeting amid growing debate with the party over whether she should be named Obama's vice-presidential running mate.

Democratic presidential hopefuls Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama stand together before the start of a Democratic presidential debate in Los Angeles on Thursday. ((Chris Carlson/Associated Press))
The face-to-face meeting, which took place late Thursday evening, came a day after Clinton's campaign team issued a statement that she would end her quest for the presidency and endorse Obama, who earlier this week won enough delegates to secure the Democratic nomination at the party's convention in August.  

The spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said the two former rivals wanted to talk about "bringing their campaigns together in unity."

One of Clinton's top supporters, her fellow New York senator, Charles Schumer, said Friday she was willing to run as Obama's No. 2 if that helped bring the party together.

"[Clinton] has said if Senator Obama should want her to be vice-president and thinks it would be best for the ticket, she will serve, she will accept that. But on the other hand, if he chooses someone else, she will work just as hard for the party in November," Schumer, Clinton's New York colleague in the Senate, told ABC's Good Morning America.

CNN reported that Clinton and Obama met at the Washington home of Diane Feinstein, a California Democratic senator and one of the party's most respected senior figures.  

Earlier Thursday, Clinton's communications director said Clinton is not seeking the Democratic vice-presidential nomination, despite a campaign by Clinton supporters to pressure Obama to put her on the ticket.

"She is not seeking the vice-presidency, and no one speaks for her but her," Howard Wolfson said. "The choice here is Senator Obama's and his alone."

Bob Johnson, the billionaire founder of Black Entertainment Television and a Clinton supporter, sent a letter to the Congressional Black Caucus on Wednesday urging the group to encourage Obama to choose Clinton as his vice-presidential pick. He said he was doing so with her blessing.

Clinton is expected to make a formal announcement at an event in Washington on Saturday. She reportedly told friends and supporters earlier this week that she was "open" to the prospect of being on the Democratic ticket with Obama.

During television interviews on Thursday, Obama repeatedly said he's not going to be rushed into a decision on the vice-presidential slot. He told CNN "everybody needs to settle down" and allow his vetting committee do its job.

"It's only been two days, and I think it's not just in my interest and Senator Clinton's interest, but in the Democratic Party's interest and the country's interest to make sure I make this decision well," Obama said.

"I am a big believer in making decisions well, not making them fast and not responding to pressure."

Obama also praised Clinton for inspiring millions of voters, saying she had opened the doors for his two young daughters to imagine being president one day.

With files from the Associated Press