Former President Bill Clinton gave a rousing endorsement of fellow Democrat Barack Obama in his first 2012 campaign appearance with the president on Sunday night, and helped him raise more than $2 million.
A white-haired and svelte Clinton, 65, pounded the podium and pointed at the crowd while addressing about 500 Obama supporters outside the Virginia home of his friend and Democratic adviser Terry McAuliffe.
"I think he's done a good job," he told the crowd in his signature raspy voice, warmly introducing the man who beat his wife, Hillary Clinton, to win the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination and then made her secretary of state. "We are going the right direction under President Obama's leadership."
Clinton's support could be pivotal for Obama's efforts to raise money and to sell voters on his economic plans, which Republicans have denounced as fiscally reckless and rooted in populism instead of good business sense.
Clinton oversaw one of the most prosperous times in recent American history and managed to balance the federal budget, something Democrats are keen to remind voters before the November 6 election.
...Clinton said Obama's likely White House opponent this year wanted to revert to the policies that plunged the United States into crisis, but "on steroids, which will get you the same consequences as before, on steroids."
Clinton applauded Obama's efforts in healthcare, clean energy promotion and student loan reform, and argued that employment levels were rebounding quickly from the financial and mortgage crises that took hold before Obama took office.
"Look, the man's not Houdini, all he can do is beat the clock. He's beating the clock," he said, comparing the pace of recovery to Japan's extended weakness after its own crisis. "The last thing you want to do is to turn around and embrace the policies that got us into trouble in the first place."
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