President Barack Obama on Thursday endorsed his former top diplomat Hillary Clinton in the campaign to succeed him, throwing his full weight into the 2016 White House race with a video message declaring: “I’m with her.”
Obama‘s endorsement comes after a hard fought Democratic primary season, in which Clinton struggled against surprisingly tough leftist rival Bernie Sanders until she finally clinched the nomination just days ago.
“Tens of millions of Americans made their voices heard. Today I just want to add mine,” Obama said in the video. “I don’t think there’s ever been someone so qualified to hold this office.” “I have seen her judgment. I’ve seen her toughness. I’ve seen her commitment to our values up close,” Obama said of Clinton.
The endorsement was long expected but is nonetheless a shot in the arm to the Clinton campaign and could end concerns about party unity after a bitter contest.
The president earlier hosted Sanders in the Oval Office in a bid to heal those wounds. Obama‘s backing will give Clinton a potent surrogate on the campaign trail. After nearly eight years in the White House, Obama is still one of the country’s most popular politicians.