As the nation waits to hear the returns from the Tuesday primaries, one important question occurs to those who remember how tight things were this time in 2008: will President Barack Obama endorse Hillary Clinton for president? Clinton has made history as the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. However, even if Bernie Sanders hasn't bowed out of the race, will the president officially throw his weight behind Clinton? Update: Late Tuesday evening, Obama called both Clinton and Sanders, congratulating Clinton on clinching the nomination and Sanders on running an inspiring campaign. While it's not an official endorsement, it's safe to say it's coming.
All signs point to a forthcoming endorsement from the president for his former Secretary of State. Obama spoke in Indiana on June 1, and the speech he delivered was telling. He predicted that the Democratic nomination will be clear "next week." Both CNN and the New York Times reported that sources within the White House claim that Obama is ready to endorse Clinton "as early as this week." According to the New York Times, the president's reasoning has much to do with his desire to see an end to Donald Trump's candidacy due to personal affronts he's made against the president, such as promoting "birther" movement conspiracy theories ahead of the 2012 presidential election.
A little over a year ago, the president was unprepared to endorse Clinton, but it was apparent even then that the relationship was far from the neck-and-neck rivalry on the campaign trail in 2008. By the end of that election, Clinton heaped the praise on Obama, giving a rousing speech of support for the then-candidate at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. And although he still hasn't made an official endorsement, Obama reportedly said he "thinks very highly" of Clinton. By Feb. 2016, Obama's tune hadn't changed, but rather strengthened — pundits were calling the president's comments about Clinton "almost-endorsements."
It seems we won't have to wait long for Obama to officially endorse Clinton — and the timing is fortuitous. On June 7, 2008, Clinton officially called off her first presidential campaign and endorsed Obama; on June 7, 2016, she made history with her second bid at the White House. If (maybe, more accurately, when) Obama endorses her, it will come full circle.