DENVER - Her White House dream may be over, but Hillary Clinton vowed to always "keep going" in a clear message to her millions of supporters that she has no plans to exit politics.
Her speech to the spellbound Democratic National Convention this week did not sound like an ode to defeat.
Instead, more than two months after her presidential quest folded and passed over by Barack Obama in his search for a running mate, Clinton wrote her own history of her campaign and seemed to be seeking her next role.
"This is a fight for the future. And it's a fight we must win," Clinton said.
She is reviled by conservatives as a divisive figure and openly disliked by many of Obama's supporters, but she always had an intensely personal connection to her faithful backers.
In a sense, her speech was a heartfelt message to the women who kept her campaign alive in New Hampshire, the blue collar car workers of Ohio and her graying legions in Florida.
Clinton sought inspiration from Harriett Tubman, a runaway slave who entered into American history by shepherding other slaves to freedom through an underground railroad in the 19th century.
"If you hear the dogs, keep going," she said, quoting Tubman's advice.
"If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If they're shouting after you, keep going," the senator said.
Clinton's promise to work on the "same team" as Obama to win the White House back for the Democrats appeared sincere, and sent the exact same message of unity that the Illinois senator's campaign had sought.
"Thank you again for everything you've done. Now let's get to work helping elect Barack Obama, Joe Biden and all of our great Democratic candidates."
Opinion polls will be examined closely to see if Clinton's voters who are still reluctant to transfer their support to Obama will break his way. - Sapa-AFP