Poll after poll shows that President Obama is struggling to convince voters that he is the best candidate to revive the struggling economy. To shore up its economic bona fides, the Obama campaign will employ its most powerful surrogate to help make an economic argument for reelecting the president.
Former President Bill Clinton will be a major presence at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, the New York Times reports. In a prime-time speech, Clinton will make the economic case for choosing Obama over Romney.
The campaign sees the former president, who presided over economic growth and a budget surplus during the 1990s, as the best person to make this case to the American people.
“There isn’t anybody on the planet who has a greater perspective on not just the last four years, but the last two decades, than Bill Clinton,” Obama campaign senior adviser David Axelrod told the Times. “He can really articulate the choice that is before people.”
In 2008, Clinton spoke at the convention in Denver, helping to put behind them the heated Democratic primary between Hillary Clinton and Obama. This year, Clinton has made headlines for sometimes contradicting the Obama campaign’s position.
Two months ago, Clinton became a headache for the Obama campaign when he joined several other prominent Democrats in criticizing the attacks on Bain Capital and Romney’s business record. Later in June, Clinton seemed to undermine the president’s position on taxes when he said that all the Bush tax cuts should be temporarily extended — a position he quickly walked back.
Clinton has also helped the president raise money, headlining several fundraisers with Obama over the past few months.
Clinton’s convention speech, which will be announced Monday, will “formally place President Obama’s name into nomination.”
Pema Levy is a News Writer at TPM covering the 2012 election. Before coming to TPM, Pema was an assistant editor at The American Prospect where she wrote about politics and the economy.