On Thursday night, two days after Hillary Clinton won the New Jersey and California primaries and delivered her victory speech declaring herself the presumptive Democratic nominee, President Barack Obama gave his anticipated statement of endorsement of Clinton's candidacy for president. Obama spoke graciously of his former rival and colleague in his endorsement video and said he's excited to hit the campaign trail with her. His statement begs the question: When will Obama and Clinton appear together for her campaign?
The power duo will appear together in Green Bay, Wisconsin, next Wednesday, June 15, in Obama's first stop stumping for his former secretary of state. During the visit, Clinton and Obama are expected to discuss "building on the progress we've made and their vision for an America that is stronger together," according to a statement released by her campaign.
Wisconsin, a key battleground state, was won squarely by Bernie Sanders during the state's April 5 primary, but with the race likely to be Donald Trump versus Clinton, she is likely to attempt to build on Sanders' support there. She is also reportedly visiting Ohio and Pennsylvania, two other battleground states, on Monday and Tuesday before appearing with the president in Green Bay.
Despite the president's glowing recommendation, one Wisconsin Republican was less than thrilled about Clinton's visit to the dairy state. Pat Garrett, a spokesman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin, said, "Wisconsin has rejected Hillary Clinton in the past and will do so again in November."
During his endorsement video, President Obama echoed his 2008 "fired up" campaign slogan, saying he "cannot wait to get out there and campaign for Hillary." Rather than just praising Clinton, however, Obama went on to congratulate Sen. Bernie Sanders for his hard-fought primary battle, thanking him for "shining a spotlight on issues like economic inequality" and for invigorating young voters. The message of the latter half of the video was explicitly about party unity, and Obama cited the false claims of disunity of the 2008 campaign after he became the nominee as the reason why he believes the party will rally around Clinton.
Speculation about the president's endorsement leading up to Clinton's presumptive nominee victory was fierce as commentators cited the president and former first lady's friendship during Clinton's tenure as secretary of state as evidence of the likelihood of an Obama endorsement. Now that it is official, former Obama supporters (myself very much included) can dust off their "Change We Need" shirts and reminisce about the good old days when the worst the Republicans had to offer was John McCain and Mitt Romney and even the staunchest Clinton and Obama supporters didn't have animosity towards each other like the Sanders camp has for Clinton.