Carolyn Kaster / AP
President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton wave to the crowd during a campaign event at the New Amsterdam Theater in New York. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
Former President Bill Clinton will rally the Democratic faithful for President Barack Obama's re-election during a prime-time speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in September. He is expected to speak Wednesday, Sept. 5.
The popular Clinton, who has served as a supporter and surrogate for the Obama campaign since his wife Hillary conceded to Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary, is known for his ability to connect to voters. As Mike Barnicle said on Morning Joe this morning: The Obama campaign realized "they need the big guy."
The New York Times, which reported the news first, noted the relationship between Obama and Mr. Clinton has not always been perfect.
The invitation for Mr. Clinton to be center stage at the convention signifies another milestone in the complicated and evolving relationship between the two presidents.
At the party’s convention in Denver four years ago, 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.
For Mr. Clinton, who has become one of the most popular figures in the Democratic Party, the speech will be among the most high-profile roles yet that he has assumed for Mr. Obama. The address is intended to offer a strong contrast with the Republican ticket and will be closely watched, particularly given a string of blunt statements — and retractions — that Mr. Clinton has made this year when talking about the Obama administration.