White House officials have made it clear for weeks that President Obama is eager to get on the campaign trail, and as the race for the Democratic nomination reaches its finish line, Obama has also signaled his excitement about endorsing Hillary Clinton.
Today, it became official. In a video first released online, the president formally announced his support for his former Secretary of State.
“I know how hard this job can be. That’s why I know Hillary will be so good at it. In fact, I don’t think there’s ever been someone so qualified to hold this office,” he says in the video, which was tweeted by Clinton’s official Twitter account.
Obama added, “She’s got the courage, the compassion, and the heart to get the job done…. I have seen her judgment. I’ve seen her toughness. I’ve seen her commitment to our values up close. And I’ve seen her determination to give every American a fair shot at opportunity, no matter how tough the fight – that’s what’s always driven her, and still does.”
The two Democratic leaders are wasting no time taking their new partnership on the road: Clinton and Obama have already announced they’ll campaign together in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, June 15, and they’re reportedly scheduling additional events in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
If you watch the new endorsement video, you’ll notice that the president also spends a fair amount of time praising Bernie Sanders and applauding his successes. The comments followed a White House meeting this morning between Obama and the Vermont senator, which reportedly lasted more than an hour.
Sanders has not indicated when or if he intends to wrap up his candidacy, but after his discussion with the president, he told reporters, “I will work as hard as I can, to make sure that Donald Trump does not become president of the United States.”
Using language that raised some eyebrows, the senator pointed to some of his cornerstone issues – investing in infrastructure and expanding Social Security, among others – and said, “These are the issues that we will take to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July.”
Of course, taking issues to the convention isn’t quite the same thing as trying to win the nomination at the convention.
There’s still one remaining primary – voters in Washington, D.C. vote on Tuesday – but today was effectively the start of the 2016 general election.