Obama, Clinton to open final campaign push next week

Olivier Knox

Former President Bill Clinton will join President Barack Obama on Monday to open the final full week of campaigning before Election Day with rallies in the vote-rich battlegrounds of Florida, Ohio and Virginia.

Clinton—who Obama dubbed "secretary of explaining stuff" after the former president's potent Democratic convention speech—will join the embattled incumbent in Orlando, Fla.; Youngstown, Ohio; and Prince William County in Virginia. It will be their first joint rallies (they have appeared together at fundraisers and at the Democratic National Convention). Clinton is seen by many Democrats as a more potent defender of Obama's economic record than Obama himself. He also connects with white working-class voters, who the current president has at times struggled to reach. Clinton has starred in ads for Obama and taken his message to battleground states that will decide the election. He recently opened (!) for Bruce Springsteen at a campaign concert in Ohio.

In recent days, however, some have suggested that Clinton's forceful recommendation that Obama hit Republican rival Mitt Romney as an ideological conservative may have backfired.