Obama to intensify push to get Clinton into White House

US President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton acknowledge the crowd on the third day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, on July 27.
US President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton acknowledge the crowd on the third day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, on July 27. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON • US President Barack Obama's trip this week to Philadelphia and New York will mark the start of his intensified push to have Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton elected as his successor, a tour that is orchestrated to drive turnout among African- American and young voters.

"The President's focus is on energising the Obama coalition to get them to the polls for Hillary Clinton," said a White House official, who asked for anonymity because the President's schedule has not yet been finalised.

"That means engaging with young people, the African-American community and reminding independent voters what is at stake," the official added.

Mr Obama will not be out in full swing until next month, according to White House officials, but in the meantime he will do fund-raising as well as digital and media engagement on behalf of Mrs Clinton's campaign.

Mr Obama is likely to focus on key swing states, such as Florida, Ohio and North Carolina, as well as Pennsylvania, which has been considered reliably Democratic in the recent past.

In July, Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton held their first joint rally in North Carolina. The state is fiercely competitive this electoral cycle.

The President is also considering visiting New Hampshire, Iowa and Michigan, his aides added, depending on how the race develops.

Mr Obama will also be doing more radio interviews in the coming weeks to target key demographic groups, they said, and many of his trips will be timed in concert with critical voting registration and early voting deadlines.

Many Democrats, who remain concerned about Mrs Clinton's slim lead over Republican Donald Trump in national polls, see Mr Obama's involvement as key to boosting voter participation among segments of the Democratic base and potentially a draw among some undecided independents.

WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2016, with the headline 'Obama to intensify push to get Clinton into White House'. Print Edition | Subscribe