Whether facing a hurricane or struggling numbers with blue-collar white voters, Obama counts on the former president as his best surrogate.
As Hurricane Sandy churned toward the East Coast, the call from President Obama came on Monday morning. "'I got to go back right now, this storm's getting out of hand. I got to handle it,'" Obama told former President Clinton, who recounted the story yesterday to an Ohio crowd. "And I said, 'Mr. President, that is the right call.'"
When Obama skipped his joint appearance with Clinton in Orlando, Florida, and suspended his campaign travel to return to the White House, he turned, once again, to his more popular Democratic predecessor to help him close the deal with the electorate. The last time Obama passed the ball was at his own nominating convention, where Clinton made a more persuasive case for the president's reelection than the president himself. CNN commentator Alex Castellanos, a Republican strategist who advised Romney's 2008 campaign, immediately dubbed Clinton's speech "the moment that probably reelected Barack Obama."
- FEMA Won't Need More Cash, for Now
- Costs of Climate Change Continue to Rise
- How Sandy Could Alter Electoral, Popular-Vote Math
Knowing Clinton's two-term-sized ego and passion for politicking, his former advisers say that he relishes the chance to be a stand-in for the president -- and excels at it, reaching certain demographic groups like white blue-collar voters who are slipping away from the president. Two weeks ago, Clinton joined the workingman's musical icon, Bruce Springsteen, for a campaign event in Ohio. Clinton's campaign swing this week includes the battlegrounds of Colorado, Iowa, and New Hampshire as well as Democratic-leaning states once thought to be in Obama's back pocket -- Minnesota and Wisconsin.