For the first time since 2008, President Obama and Hillary Clinton will be campaigning side by side to stop Republicans from taking over the White House. Following his meeting with Clinton's primary opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the president officially endorsed his one-time competitor and secretary of state. In a video posted to YouTube by Clinton's campaign, he claimed there has never been someone as qualified as her to be president:
Look, I know how hard this job can be. That's why I know Hillary will be so good at it. She's got the courage, the compassion, and the heart to get the job done. And I say that as someone who had to debate her more than 20 times.
Exactly eight years before Clinton was pronounced the presumptive Democratic nominee on June 7, she had dropped out of her 2008 presidential campaign. And after Sanders refused to drop out of the race after Clinton won Tuesday's primaries, she wasn't ready to let the nation forget about the sacrifice she made to unite the Democratic Party back then:
Tomorrow is eight years to the day after I withdrew and endorsed then-Senator Obama. I believed it was the right thing to do. No matter what differences we had in our long campaign, they paled in comparison to the differences we had with the Republicans.
Since then, Clinton and Obama have continued to work together. Upon taking office in January 2009, Obama appointed Clinton secretary of state, a position she filled until 2013. Prior to running for president a second time in 2012, Obama even asked his donors to raise money for Clinton so that she could pay off the $245,000 debt she accumulated during her 2008 campaign against him. And although Obama technically remained neutral up until Thursday, he has defended Clinton against Sanders' criticisms, as well as the criticism she received for using a private server for her emails.
Though Clinton and Obama have ample experience working together, Donald Trump's impending nomination has thrown a wrench into the scheme of things. Unlike Republican nominee John McCain in 2008, Trump is unrefined and far removed from the establishment GOP which Democrats have grown accustomed to fighting. In addition to their newest worst enemy, the party remains divided among establishment Democrats and more progressive ones who have been energized by Sanders' grassroots campaign. After meeting with Obama, however, Sanders said that he would work with Clinton to defeat Trump.