Obama Praises McCain At Inauguration Dinner

02/19/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama is calling his former rival John McCain an American hero who set a standard of patriotism and bipartisanship for all to follow. Obama praised McCain at a Monday night dinner in Washington honoring the Republican senator from Arizona whom Obama defeated in the November election.

Obama put their campaign criticisms behind them and called for help "in making this bipartisan dinner not just an inaugural tradition, but a new way of doing the people's business in this city."

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