democrats BRIDGE DIVIDE

Hillary Rodham Clinton's name will join Barack Obama's on a list of candidates seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, a gesture of unity also aimed at mollifying her supporters, who Obama needs as the race for the presidency tightens.

Hillary Rodham Clinton's name will join Barack Obama's on a list of candidates seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, a gesture of unity also aimed at mollifying her supporters, who Obama needs as the race for the presidency tightens.

Less than two weeks before the Democratic convention, polls show a tight race between Obama and Republican John McCain, who has caught up with his Democratic rival.

Obama, who is the first black presidential candidate of a major US party, is seeking to appeal to Clinton's base of women and white working-class voters, some of whom are leaning toward McCain.

Some of Clinton's voters felt the New York senator's White House bid was thwarted by sexism and media bias. While polls show Obama has won over a majority of her backers, some simply do not like the first-term Illinois senator.

The announcement on Thursday by the Clinton and Obama camps was a clear step in trying to bridge that divide by placing Clinton's name in nomination at the August 25 to 28 Democratic national convention in Denver.

Delegates would then be allowed to cast a vote for Clinton in what would be a largely symbolic roll call vote.

A statement by the two campaigns said Obama supported the move as "a show of unity and in recognition of the historic race she ran". Obama has also given both Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, prime speaking slots during the convention. All that ensures an enormous presence for the couple who have been national fixtures in the Democratic Party since 1992. - Sapa-AP

X