Viewers can watch live online as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama appear together at a rally for the first time in Clinton’s campaign, a major event in North Carolina expected to kick off what will be an aggressive summer of campaigning together for the President and his potential replacement.
The event will start at 3 p.m. ET from the Charlotte Convention Center, with Obama speaking alongside Clinton. Full streaming video of Clinton’s North Carolina rally can be seen below.
Clinton has touted her close relationship with Obama throughout the campaign, holding back against criticizing Obama even as her opponent, Bernie Sanders, took issue with several parts of Obama’s tenure. President Obama’s approval numbers have crested at 50 percent nationwide and are sky-high among Democratic voters, so Obama’s presence on the campaign trail is seen as a major boost for an otherwise shaky candidate with low favorability numbers of her own.
The selection of North Carolina has special significance, political experts note. President Obama narrowly won there in 2008, and Democrats hope to again make it a battleground, the New York Times noted.
“In a general election, Mr. Obama can assist Mrs. Clinton in states that have historically leaned Republican, like North Carolina, where an increasingly diverse population helped Mr. Obama capture the state’s 15 electoral votes in 2008. He lost the state to Mitt Romney in 2012.”
Clinton’s close relationship with Obama also allows her to inherit the political machine that Obama built over the last eight years, a robust operation that allowed him to be competitive — and sometimes win — in states that have traditionally gone to Republicans.
“There are just a ton of Obama alumni in the states,” Mitch Stewart, who worked with the Obama campaign in 2008 and led his battleground efforts in 2012, told the New York Times. “There’s a lot of muscle memory as to what worked and what didn’t work. Having that type of experience already is going to be really important.”
Clinton has already tapped into a number of Obama’s major staff, both nationwide and at the state level.
Clinton is expected to call on a number of other high-profile surrogates to boost her campaign over the summer months. In addition to appearances with Barack Obama, she is also expected to call on Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is being floated as a potential vice president candidate. For a candidate who has struggled with voters on issues of trustworthiness, it could be a major advantage to Clinton to have such high-profile Democrats in her corner.
Viewers who watch Hillary Clinton’s Charlotte, North Carolina, rally live online will see what is likely a new phase of Clinton’s campaign. She has shifted her full attention to Donald Trump in recent weeks, and just hours before the rally, she saw what was likely the biggest burden lifted.
Clinton had faced an ongoing FBI investigation into her use of an unauthorized email server, but FBI director James Comey announced that the investigation had come to a conclusion and that they would not be recommending charges against Clinton.
Clinton’s rally in Charlotte has already drawn some major attention, with lines forming more than four hours before the doors were set to open. After a Democratic primary in which she preferred smaller and more intimate venues, it will also showcase Hillary Clinton in a major setting for one of the first times this campaign and serve as a potential preview for the Democratic National Convention later this summer.
Those who miss the live streaming video of Hillary Clinton’s rally with Barack Obama in Charlotte can find a full replay of the event in the embedded video above.
[Photo by Carolyn Kaster/AP Images]