Obama is widely seen as Clinton’s most important campaign asset—he’s both a popular sitting president and the country’s greatest living campaigner, having snatched the championship belt from Bill Clinton during the 2008 election.
According to Politico, Obama has landed on the case he will make for Clinton’s candidacy. First, he will emphasize Clinton’s own bona fides in an attempt to make the race about more than just Donald Trump. “You want people to feel as passionate about Hillary Clinton being president as they do about stopping Donald Trump. If this isn’t a close race, it’s still going to matter a great deal for her presidency,” David Plouffe told Politico. “That’s one place where we need to see some improvement, on the intensity side of the Clinton question.”
Second, he will attempt to relate to voters by reminding them that he also once did not care much for Clinton. “He can make the case as the highest profile convert to be her supporter,” said White House communications director Jen Psaki.
Of course, drawing attention to the enthusiasm gap carries more than a little risk, as it emphasizes Clinton’s biggest weakness as a candidate. But it also lends legitimacy to the case Obama is making for Clinton by emphasizing his biggest strength as a campaigner: his integrity.