Former President Bill Clinton will make a forceful case for President Barack Obama’s re-election and his economic vision for the country in this summer’s Democratic National Convention, according to Obama campaign and Democratic party officials.
The New York Times first reported that Mr. Clinton would deliver a prime-time speech designed to present a forceful economic argument for why Barack Obama deserves to win a second term.
“There isn’t anybody on the planet who has a greater perspective on not just the last four years, but the last two decades, than Bill Clinton,” David Axelrod, a top strategist to the Obama campaign, said in an interview on Sunday.
“He can really articulate the choice that is before people,” Axelrod added.
The move gives the Obama campaign an opportunity to use the former president’s immense popularity and remind voters that a Democrat was in the White House the last time the American economy was thriving, writes The Huff Post.
It is known that President Obama personally asked Clinton to speak at the convention and place Obama’s name in nomination, and Clinton enthusiastically accepted.
“To us it’s about deploying our assets in the most effective way,” David Axelrod said.
He went on: “To have President Clinton on Wednesday night laying out the choice facing voters, and then having Vice President Biden speak right before the president in prime time on Thursday, giving a testimony to the decisions the president has made, the character of his leadership and the battle to rebuild the middle class that’s so central to our message.”
Bill Clinton will speak in prime-time at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 5, the night before Barack Obama formally accepts the party nomination.
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will appear on the final night of the convention, making the case for Mr. Obama before the largest audience of the week during an outdoor speech at the Bank of America Stadium.
The vice president and President Obama will appear together on stage before they accept the party’s nomination for a second term in the White House.
Bill Clinton spoke at the 2008 convention, part of a healing process for the Democratic party following the heated primary battle between Obama and the former president’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Then at the party’s convention in Denver, all eyes were on Mr. Clinton as he offered a full-throated endorsement of Mr. Obama in a speech that served as something of a truce after a contentious primary fight with his wife.
Moreover, since then, the ties between Obama and Bill Clinton have significantly strengthened. President Obama has called on the former president for advice several times during his term and the two have appeared together this year at campaign fundraisers for Obama’s re-election bid.
Meanwhile, Clinton’s prominent role at the convention will allow Democrats to embrace party unity in a way that is impossible for Republican rival Mitt Romney.
George W. Bush, the last Republican to hold the White House, remains quite politically toxic in some circles. While Bush has endorsed Romney, he is not involved in his campaign and has said he does not plan to attend the GOP convention.