Trump vs. Clinton or Trump vs. Obama?

Lame-duck president hopes to drag Clinton across the finish line to save his legacy

President Obama may not be on the ballot this November, but his legacy sure is and he is actively campaigning to ensure that his keynote policies remains intact — by slamming Donald Trump.

Bubba has cultivated a remarkable history of unfortunate statements and gaffes when on the trail for Hillary.

While Obama hasn’t endorsed a Democratic presidential candidate yet, he is rumored to be considering an imminent endorsement of Clinton. He has already railed against what he deems a dangerous Republican agenda. With Clinton doubling-down on a platform of continuing the “progress” started under Obama, the president has a clear incentive to go all-out in his support.

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If Clinton wins, Obama will have won a de facto referendum on his legacy.

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But as Republicans continue to unite behind Donald Trump as the presumptive nominee of the GOP, Clinton is hobbling to the finish line, desperately trying to imitate the president in order to clinch the nomination. If nothing else, the Democratic primary cycle have proven she needs a reliable, charismatic surrogate with a major national profile in order to help boost her candidacy and bring about much needed unity within in the Democratic Party.

Much has been made of her husband’s potential ability to fill that void, but Bubba has cultivated a remarkable history of unfortunate statements and gaffes when on the trail for Hillary.

One of those comments included calling President Obama’s legacy awful, just as Hillary was trying to hitch her wagon to the Obama train.

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Amid her husband’s mediocre performance, Hillary has increasingly attempted to latch herself to Obama. She even penned an op-ed in The Huffington Post in January titled “What President Obama’s Legacy Means to Me.”

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Obama remains popular with Democratic voters — particularly millennials and progressives, whose support she desperately needs in the general election. Given the lack of enthusiasm among Democrats for Clinton’s candidacy, it is Obama’s support that she is banking on to help drag her across the finish line.

Aside from helping gin up the Democratic base, Hillary will also be hoping to sheer off some of Obama’s charisma onto herself. Likability has been an issue for Clinton’s presidential aspirations since 2008.

Obama, the charismatic senator from Illinois, brought excitement to his campaign, and a robust turnout with often-apathetic young voters was a integral part of why he won the presidency. Sanders channeled much of that excitement in the 2016 primary. In the absence of a better option, it seems it will be Obama’s job to get Sanders’ supporters in Clinton’s corner — a tough task to be sure.

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Republicans are rightly excited over the terrible flaws Clinton boasts as a candidate, but Obama’s strength as a natural campaigner should not be underestimated. Obama’s favorability hovers at or above 50 percent and he is at his best on the stump, armed with his trusty teleprompter.

Both Clinton and Obama have everything to lose — her final shot at the White House and his political legacy.

Ultimately, his role in the campaign may come to beg the question of whether or not this general election will be a Trump and Clinton matchup or truly a Trump contest with an Obama third term.

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