President Barack Obama is planning to endorse Hillary Clinton and aggressively campaign for her, according to a New York Times report Monday.
“He has indicated he wants to spend a lot of time on the campaign trail, so when it’s time to do that, we’ll go out guns ablazing,” White House communications director Jennifer Psaki told the Times. “We are actively thinking through how to use the president on the campaign trail — what works for the nominee, what works for him, and how to utilize his strengths and his appeal.”
Clinton is expecting to wrap up the Democratic nomination fight Tuesday following contests in New Jersey and California. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has been vowing to continue his fight till the Democratic convention in July in an effort to convince superdelegates to support his candidacy.
An Obama endorsement of Clinton after Tuesday could help unite the Democratic Party, as the president is popular with Sanders’ base of younger voters. So far this cycle, the president has made an effort to be impartial towards the two Democrat candidates.
“He’s been very respectful of both of them and careful not to put his thumb on the scale, but at some point, the verdict is the verdict, and that point is almost certainly Tuesday, which is what he was saying,” David Axelrod, a former senior adviser to Obama’s presidential campaign, told the Times. He added, “I expect that he’ll be a force for trying to move this process along so the party can consolidate and unify.”
Obama has already spoken out forcefully against Hillary’s likely general election opponent Donald Trump and would be expected to continue doing so. Hillary has been running on the idea that “America has never stopped being great,” and Obama would help make that argument. In the most recent Gallup poll of his approval rating, 50 percent of Americans approved of the job he was doing.