US President Barack Obama will join Democratic White House hopeful Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail for the first time next week, days before Vice President Joe Biden also stumps with her, Clinton aides announced Thursday.
Obama is set to join Clinton in Charlotte, North Carolina on Tuesday for his debut appearance on the 2016 campaign trail, the Clinton campaign said in a statement.
They “will discuss building on the progress we’ve made and their vision for an America that is stronger together,” it said.
Obama is expected to campaign heavily for Clinton, his former bitter rival in the 2008 Democratic primaries before she worked closely with him as secretary of state during his first term.
The president is keen to protect his legacy by helping a Democrat succeed him amid a deepening partisan standoff in Washington.
Biden will then join Clinton for a Democratic Party event next Friday in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where they both have roots, Clinton’s campaign said in a separate statement.
The vice president’s folksy demeanor and ability to personally connect with working-class voters could provide a much-needed boost for Clinton in her showdown with Republican Donald Trump, particularly among older white male voters.
Clinton and Biden have had a lengthy rivalry despite both having served in Obama’s cabinet.
Both ran for the Democratic nomination in 2008 and lost. Last year, Biden was seriously contemplating another presidential run, which would have pitted him against Clinton in the primaries.
He ultimately announced in October that he would not pursue the presidency following the death of his son Beau Biden.
Pennsylvania and North Carolina are both pivotal battlegrounds among the dozen or so swing states experts believe will determine the outcome of the November 8 general election.