President Obama's Role in Hillary Clinton's Campaign Is Historic - But Not For the Reason You Might Think

When was the last time a Democratic president successfully campaigned for his party’s nominee to succeed him? Believe it or not, it’s been over a century.


The only two Democratic presidents to succeed a member of their own party in the past 100 years were both vice presidents who assumed the role of president upon the president's death in office. They were Harry S. Truman, who succeeded Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson who succeeded John F. Kennedy.

Having the president campaign for you doesn't always work, of course. During the 1960 election, President Dwight D. Eisenhower endorsed Vice-President Richard Nixon, who wouldn't win the general election for another eight years, ultimately succeeding a Democrat.

But in recent years, it has proven rare for a sitting president of either major party to play this role.

During his presidential campaign, Al Gore largely distanced himself from Bill Clinton. And even after agreeing to campaign with the president, John McCain had mixed feelings about associating with George W. Bush.

On the other hand, President Obama’s staggering approval rating, especially among young people, and the fact that jobs and the economy have grown during his presidency tend to indicate another Democrat will succeed him. And helping her do so will be yet another way Barack Obama has made history.

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