A deal has been brokered between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that will allow Clinton's name to be placed in nomination at next week's Democratic nominating convention.
The former rivals announced the agreement today in a joint statement, shedding light on a hushed negotiation between the Clinton and Obama camps over how to recognize Clinton and her supporters without overshadowing or detracting from a convention designed to nominate Obama as the party's presidential candidate.
Obama and Clinton "are both committed to winning back the White House and to ensuring that the voices of all 35 million people who participated in this historic primary election are respected and heard in Denver," the statement read in part. "To honor and celebrate these voices and votes, both Sen. Obama's and Sen. Clinton's names will be placed in nomination."
Democratic sources said Clinton, who has been grappling with the best way to get her supporters on board, has been mindful of being seen as a poor loser like Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., in 1980. The senator was not looked upon favorably when he appeared to refuse to shake former President Carter's hand at the party's convention after losing the nomination vote.
For the Obama campaign, a roll call vote at this point would not show the race as close as it once seemed, because so many Clinton delegates are now poised to cast their ballots for Obama.
"This truly was a joint decision," according to a Clinton source. "This wasn't something she was itching for, looking for. But so many of her supporters said it was important to them. And the Obama people got how important it was to smooth over any tensions and that it was the right thing to do."
Obama campaign manager David Plouffe has been negotiating the deal with former Clinton campaign officials Cheryl Mills and Minyon Moore since June and the default position for Obama was to ask what the Clinton camp wanted to do, Democratic sources told ABC News.
Finally this week, Clinton officials said they wanted Clinton's name to be in nomination. Obama personally had let his staff know that was fine with him, Democratic sources said.
Obama, who is in Hawaii on vacation with his family this week, argued in the statement that having Clinton's name on the roll call would be a symbol of unity.
"I am convinced that honoring Sen. Clinton's historic campaign in this way will help us celebrate this defining moment in our history and bring the party together in a strong united fashion," Obama said in a joint statement.
Clinton, who initially refused to concede the race to Obama arguing she won the popular vote of 18 million people during the Democratic primaries, said the agreement would solidify support behind Obama.
"With every voice heard and the Party strongly united, we will elect Sen. Obama President of the United States and put our nation on the path to peace and prosperity once again," Clinton said in a joint statement.
It's the first time a losing Democratic presidential candidate has had his or her name formally placed into nomination at the Democratic National Convention since 1992, according to the Democratic National Committee.