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Obama and the Clintons deepen ties

Monday, April 30, 2012

By Julie Pace / The Associated Press

Once a tense rivalry, the relationship between President Barack Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton has evolved into a ‘genuine political and policy partnership’. Both sides have a strong incentive to make the alliance work, especially in an election year.

For Obama, Bill Clinton is a fundraising juggernaut, a powerful reminder to voters that a Democrat ran the White House the last time the economy was thriving. For the spotlight-loving former president, stronger ties with the White House and campaign headquarters mean he gets a hand in shaping the future of the party he led for nearly a decade.

Obama campaign confronts new voter identification laws

WASHINGTON — Field workers for President Barack Obama’s campaign are fanning out across the country this weekend in an effort to confront new voter identification laws that strategists say threaten the campaign’s hopes for registering new voters ahead of the November election.
In Wisconsin, where a new state law requires those registering voters to be deputized in whichever of the state’s 1,800 municipalities they are assigned to, the campaign has sent trainers armed with instructions for complying with the new regulations.
In Florida, the campaign’s voter registration aides are traveling across the state to train volunteers on a new requirement that voter registration signatures be handed in to state officials within 48 hours after they are collected.
And in Ohio, Obama’s staff members are beginning outreach to let voters know about new laws that discourage precinct workers from telling voters where to go if they show up at the wrong precinct.

— New York Times News Service

Obama’s re-election campaign has put Clinton on notice that he will be used as a top surrogate, further evidence of how far the two camps have come since the bitter days of the 2008 Democratic primary between Obama and Hillary Clinton, now his secretary of state.

The current and former presidents teamed up to address supporters in Virginia Sunday night, the first of three joint appearances at fundraisers for Obama’s campaign. The campaign expected more than 500 people at a reception at the home of Terry McAuliffe, a close adviser to both Clintons and one of the most ardent protectors of their political brand, with tickets starting at $1,000. Eighty people paid $20,000 a head for a dinner afterward.

Clinton told the crowd that Obama is “beating the clock” to restore the economy to health. Digging out of similar financial holes has historically taken five to 10 years, Clinton said.

“Barack Obama deserves to be re-elected president of the United States,” Clinton said, because he has clear objectives for the country and is meeting them.

Neither Clinton nor Obama mentioned presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney by name, but both Democrats zinged Romney for his economic plan and foreign policy credentials.

Romney “basically wants to do what they did before, on steroids,” Clinton said, “which will get you the same consequences you got before, on steroids.”

Published: April 30. 2012 4:00AM PST