President Obama will be getting fundraising help from his predecessor Bill Clinton.
Bloomberg News reported that the 42nd and the 44th presidents would appear together in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. But Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt and sources close to Clinton told National Journal that no specific dates or locations for any joint appearance have been agreed upon.
The Obama reelection campaign, through its finance arm, has asked Clinton to assist in fundraising for the general election. Both sides fully expect Obama and Clinton to raise money together, but logistics remain up in the air.
The timing of the Bloomberg report fits one narrative helpful to Obama. Any coordination with Clinton will enliven supporters of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, whom Obama vanquished when the two fought long and hard for the party nomination in 2008.
Many Democratic women retain great affection for Hillary and Bill, and an Obama event with the former president is likely to kindle support for Obama just as Democrats seek to exploit Republicans' fumbling over the issue of government-financed contraception. The debate over that issue has caused Republicans to lose ground with women voters.
The Obama campaign has become increasingly concerned about resources it will need to wage a national campaign against whomever the Republicans nominate, and wants to tap any and all party assets to raise funds.
Bill Clinton and Obama have patched up the simmering differences that arose during the 2008 campaign, when the former president bristled at Obama’s “change you can believe in” theme and its implication that Democrats had to turn away from the Clinton machine and its approach to politics.
Clinton’s centrist and business-friendly style—and fundraising tactics that matched it—had dominated the party since his election in 1992. Obama sought a greater focus on grassroots activism and organizing and used it to defeat Hillary Rodham Clinton in a nomination battle that ran until June of 2008.