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Saturday, January 20, 2007
Obama calls Clinton a 'good friend'
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. Barack Obama, who took formal steps earlier this week to explore a presidential bid, issued a written statement Saturday welcoming Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to the race for the Democratic nomination.

"Senator Clinton is a good friend and a colleague whom I greatly respect," Obama said in a statement released by his office. "I welcome her and all the candidates, not as competitors, but as allies in the work of getting our country back on track."

Clinton of New York and Obama of Illinois join a crowded field of Democrats who have either announced their intentions or have expressed interest in seeking their party's nomination for the White House. Obama said he will make a final decision on whether to run for president on Feb. 10.

-- CNN Political Editor Mark Preston
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