President Barack Obama has joined Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail for the first time in 2016, telling a crowd in Charlotte, North Carolina that “there has never been any man or woman more qualified” for the presidency than the former Secretary of State.
Painting his erstwhile primary rival as the person best placed to carry on his own legacy, Mr Obama explained how his admiration for Ms Clinton had grown despite their long and bitter battle for the 2008 Democratic nomination. She later proved to be a formidable partner at the State Department, Mr Obama recalled, during an impassioned speech touting both her character and credentials. “My faith in Hillary Clinton has always been rewarded,” he said.
It is rare if not unprecedented for a sitting President to campaign alongside a presumptive party nominee prior to the party’s nominating convention, but Mr Obama was reportedly eager to stump for Ms Clinton – and against Donald Trump. The President did not disguise his disdain for Mr Trump, whose views he characterised as shallow, regressive and intolerant. “Everybody can tweet,” he said. “But no one actually knows what it takes to do the job until you sit behind the desk.”