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While singing unity, Clinton, Obama still working out kinks

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  • NEW: Sen. Clinton calls for party to rally behind Sen. Obama in Nevada
  • Former President Clinton set to speak at Democratic convention
  • Obama insists his campaign is working out the kinks with both Clintons
  • Backers want to place Clinton's name into nomination at convention
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From Candy Crowley
CNN Senior Political Correspondent
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(CNN) -- Sen. Hillary Clinton had just one message -- unity -- when she spoke Friday at a Las Vegas, Nevada, rally for her former rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Barack Obama.

Sen. Hillary Clinton speaks during a rally for Sen. Barack Obama in Nevada on Friday.

Sen. Hillary Clinton speaks during a rally for Sen. Barack Obama in Nevada on Friday.

"We had a hard-fought campaign, and it was exciting. It was a bit like the proverbial rollercoaster, but we are now unified and ready to go forward together. And it is imperative that each and every one of us think about how we're going to help in this election," the former presidential candidate said.

"We are one party, we share one vision, and we believe as Democrats, as independents and repentant Republicans, in the progress we can make together!" Clinton said.

But, while the two former rivals publicly dismiss any indications of tension, the Obama and Clinton camps are still negotiating the role Sen. Clinton and her husband, former President Clinton, will play during the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, in just three weeks.

"We're still working out the mechanics of the four days, and our staffs are in communication with Sen. Clinton's staffs. But I don't anticipate any problems," Obama said Thursday.

But Obama's assessment runs counter to grumbling from some of Clinton's supporters, some peculiar praise from the former president and Sen. Clinton's seeming embrace of a plan to put her name into nomination. Video Watch more on Clinton's role at the convention »

"I happen to believe that we will come out stronger if people feel that their voices were heard and their views were respected," the senator from New York has said of some of her supporters, who are demanding a role in the party's convention.

A video posted on YouTube showed Clinton talking to supporters who wanted to have her name put to a vote at the convention.

"I know from just what I'm hearing, there's incredible pent-up desire, and I think that people want to feel like, 'OK, it's a catharsis, we're here, we did it, and then everybody get behind Sen. Obama,' " she told the crowd. Video Watch Clinton discuss her support for Obama's campaign »

Obama said the brouhaha over whether Clinton's delegates would be able to vote for her at the Democratic convention was a media creation.

"There hasn't been controversy other than what you guys are projecting right now," he told reporters Thursday.

Obama described conversations between the two campaigns over convention planning as "seamless." "It has not been a problem," he said.

In the modern era of presidential primaries, no losing candidate has so visibly endorsed an opponent so many months before the convention and still put his name up for nomination.

Bill Clinton has been slotted to speak Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention. Whether intended or not, this appearance may help assuage some of the Clinton-Obama drama.

A still-smoldering Bill Clinton is capable of blazing into the headlines. ABC News recently asked him whether Obama were ready to be president, to which he responded, "you could argue that no one is ever ready to be president. I mean, I certainly learned a lot about the job in the first year. And he's smart as a whip, so there's nothing he can't learn."

A simple yes would have done, but the Obama camp knows that the relationship with the former president needs work. Video Watch strategists weigh in on Bill Clinton's support »

Obama, who spoke with the 42nd president on the phone Thursday, is bent on accentuating the positives.


"He's been very supportive. I thought he showed extraordinary restraint in a fairly provocative interview while he was on his trip. I couldn't ask for him to be any more gracious than he's been and supportive since the campaign ended," the senator from Illinois said.

Obama was en route to Hawaii on Friday for a weeklong vacation.

CNN political producer Ed Hornick contributed to this report.

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