Senator Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday she would not make an immediate decision on the future of her White House campaign after her rival Barack Obama clinched the Democratic party nomination.
"Now the question is, where do we go from here? And given how far we've come and where we need to go as a party, it's a question I don't take lightly. This has been a long campaign, and I will be making no decisions tonight," Clinton told cheering supporters.
"In the coming days, I'll be consulting with supporters and party leaders to determine how to move forward with the best interests of our party and our country guiding my way."
Her speech came amid intense speculation that she might concede the race for the Democratic nod after a gruelling, 17-month race with some Democrats worried the party has been left weakened and divided.
While Clinton congratulated Obama on running an "extraordinary" campaign, she did not congratulate him on gaining enough delegates for the Democratic party nomination.
The former first lady earlier on Tuesday said for the first time she may be ready to serve as Obama's vice presidential running mate, in a phone call with lawmakers from her New York state.
In an apparent signal that horse trading was beginning over Clinton's role in the party, she said "she would be open to the VP slot," a staffer with the New York delegation told AFP.
During her speech on Tuesday evening in New York City, Clinton thanked all those who had voted for her and said it was time to repair the damage done by President George W. Bush's administration.
Invoking the symbolism of the Statue of Liberty and her favorite theme of resilience, Clinton said the country had always shown it could meet its challenges.
"You know, tonight we stand just a few miles from the Statue of liberty. And from the site where the Twin Towers fell and where America rose again," she said.
"Lady liberty's presence and the tower's absence are a constant reminder that here in America, we are resilient, we are courageous, we embrace all of our people and that when we face our challenges together, there is no barrier we can't overcome."