Senator Hillary Clinton put aside differences with her Democratic primary rival and nominee-in-waiting Senator Barack Obama last night as she called on her following – “the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits” – to back the Illinois Senator in his bid to become the first African-American president.

Clinton was the headline speaker at the Democratic National Convention at Denver's Pepsi Center, where supporters – bitter from a primary loss and a VP pass – continued to rally to her side.

But Clinton passed on the wrangle, opting instead to praise the man she once criticized.

“I am a proud supporter of Barack Obama,” Clinton told some 4,500 delegates. “Whether you voted for me, or voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose. We are on the same team, and none of us can sit on the sidelines.”

And she pleaded with those supporters to back Obama. “You haven't worked so hard over the last 18 months, or endured the last eight years, to suffer though more failed leadership. No way. No how. No McCain. Barack Obama is my candidate. And he must be our president.”

Her stirring speech – longer than most – included a call for equality. “I ran for president to renew the promise of America. ... To rebuild the middle class ... To promote a clean energy economy ... To create a health care system that is universal, high quality, and affordable ... To create a world class education system ... To fight for an America defined by deep and meaningful equality – from civil rights to labor rights, from women's rights to gay rights ... Most of all, I ran to stand up for all those who have been invisible to their government for eight long years.”

Clinton evoked the memory of former Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, calling her “an inspiration to me and to us all.” Tubbs Jones, the first African-American Congresswoman elected from Ohio and a longtime gay ally, died last week in a Cleveland, OH hospital after suffering a brain hemorrhage.

Also speaking at the podium on Tuesday was Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin, the first openly lesbian Congresswoman to be elected to the House.

Baldwin's speech stayed on-topic with the Democratic issue of universal health care. She did not mention her sexual orientation or discuss gay issues.

“Barack Obama recognizes that good health care is as necessary to a productive society as a good education,” Baldwin told the gathering. “Barack Obama understands that investing in people restores the American dream. ... I'm voting for the change we need to bring health care to all. I'm voting for Barack Obama!”

The Democratic National Convention ends Thursday.