Politics & Government

Obama all-in for Clinton in final days: She believes ‘in the same things I believe in’

President Barack Obama holds a baby as he greets supporters while campaigning for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Chapel Hill, N.C., Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016.
President Barack Obama holds a baby as he greets supporters while campaigning for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Chapel Hill, N.C., Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016. AP

Make no mistake: This is personal for President Barack Obama.

In the final days before the election, Obama is putting his all into electing his one-time rival, Hillary Clinton.

“If we let this thing slip and I’ve got a situation where my last two months in office are preparing for a transition to Donald Trump, whose staff people have said that their primary agenda is to have him in the first couple of weeks sitting in the Oval Office and reverse every single thing that we’ve done,” Obama said on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, a radio program.

He’s in North Carolina on Wednesday. He’s Florida on Thursday. He’ll be in Florida and North Carolina on Friday. He’ll be in Florida again Sunday. He’ll be in New Hampshire on Monday.

Clinton has embraced Obama – saying she wants to build on his vision – a marked difference from past years when presidential hopefuls have run away from their party’s presidents because of personality clashes or low approval ratings.

It is the first time since 1988 that an outgoing president has been popular enough to help and the first time a president’s party has nominated someone who genuinely wanted the help.

“There’s a reason that Secretary Clinton’s team has asked President Obama to maintain such an aggressive travel schedule,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said this week. “They believe that he is a particularly effective messenger in making the case for Secretary Clinton to the American people.”

Obama is doing radio ads and talking her up on TV with a special appeal to black voters, who do not appear to be as enthusiastic for Clinton.

Blacks have not been voting early in the same numbers as they have in past elections, according to numbers from battleground states.

“I know that there are a lot of people in barbershops and beauty salons, you know, in the neighborhoods who are saying to themselves, ‘We love Barack ... We especially love Michelle, and so, you know, it was exciting and now we’re not as excited as much.’ You know what? I need everybody to understand that everything we’ve done is dependent on me being able to pass the baton to somebody who believes in the same things I believe in,” Obama said.

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