Former President Bill Clinton will play a major role in the Democratic National Convention, delivering a prime-time speech and officially nominating President Obama.
The president’s heightened role in the September convention, reported by multiple media outlets, will be formally announced on Monday.
“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,” said senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod in an interview with The New York Times. “He can really articulate the choice that is before people.”
The campaign believes Clinton can play a prominent role in touting the president’s economic record and resonate with the independent and middle class voters Obama needs to woo to secure reelection.
Clinton and Obama have had a rocky relationship in the past, with the former president’s wife, now-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton losing the Democratic primary to Obama in 2008.
But the former president has become an important surrogate for Obama’s reelection bid, appearing at numerous fundraisers for his campaign, most recently last Friday where the two crossed paths at an event in Virginia.