Barack Obama openly supports Hillary Clinton as next US president

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US President Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama formally backed rival Hillary Clinton to succeed him on 9 June. He showed the Democrats that it was the time to get united to beat Clinton rival, Donald Trump.

Obama’s support was a like a shot in the arm for Clinton. “Tens of millions of Americans made their voices heard. I just want to add mine. I’m with Clinton,” said Obama.

Welcoming Obama’s support, Clinton tweeted, “When we come together…we won’t just win in November-we’ll build on the progress we’ve made.”

Days ago, Clinton had clinched the nomination thereby prompting Obama to support her. “I don’t think there is anyone qualified to hold this office,” he said.

Their first joint campaign will take place in Green Bay, Wisconsin on 15 June. Obama had won there in 2008 and 2012, but the Democrats expect a tougher fight this year.

In that election, Obama bested Clinton to become the first black president. They later made peace, as Clinton became Obama’s first secretary of state.

Now the 68-year-old Clinton is trying to make history of her own by becoming the first female president.

Would-be successors had kept former Presidents George W Bush and Bill Clinton at a distance as they had become poisonous by their final year in office. Obama, by contrast, is still one of the country’s most popular politicians.

Clinton has struggled for a year against leftist rival Bernie Sanders, 74, who ran a campaign that swelled into a movement comprising 12 million people.

Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidate Trump’s racially tinged rhetoric has split the Grand Old Party. A growing number of Republicans say they will not vote for him.