Former President Bill Clinton fervently announced his support of Obama on Sunday at a fundraiser in Va., declaring, “Barack Obama deserves to be re-elected president of the United States,” according to the Associated Press.
The new political and policy partnership has been a welcome change to the Democratic Party as a sign that the rivalry between the president and former president may be over.
Kicking off the summer fundraising campaign this weekend, Clinton introduced Obama at an event hosted by Terry McAulliffe, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee. “Obama is ‘beating the clock’ to restore the nation’s economy to health,” Clinton said. McAuliffe told ABC News at least $3 million was raised at the event at his home.
Obama’s re-election campaign staffers have made it clear they will use Clinton as a top surrogate for fundraising, making the new relationship lucrative to the campaign. The new ally could be beneficial to the election, as Obama reminds voters that the last healthy economy occurred while a Democrat was in office.
Tensions were on the rise in 2008 when the political run-off between Obama and Hillary split the party’s support. Now, it seems, the two wings of the Democratic Party have merged backed together. Hillary Clinton was appointed as the Secretary of State in 2008 partly to ease party tensions. Whereas in 2008, Obama said Hillary Clinton was “likeable enough,” today he has credited her with helping him to clean up “other folks’ messes.”
Democrats claim the partnership between the Clintons and the Obamas may put the president at a distinct advantage over Romney.
“It makes absolutely clear that, to the extent that there were different wings of the Democratic Party, there is now one wing of the Democratic Party,” said Chris Lehane, a Clinton backer, according to the AP. “And it’s the president’s party.”
It may pay after all to make old friends new again.