It’s no secret that President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have had their differences. In fact, the 2008 election year was full of debate, opposing views, and heated moments of conflict. However, over the last eight years, Hillary and Barack have formed an unlikely friendship, working relationship, and now he offers one of the biggest support tickets on her ballot. At the Democratic National Convention, the President gave Clinton a full endorsement, calling her “more qualified than any man or woman” to be the next President of the United States. So how did this once unlikely duo go from foes to friends?
The Beginning of a Friendship
It all started after Obama won the Presidency, instead of tucking her tail and quitting the political arena, Clinton stuck to her guns and when offered the position of Secretary of State, she didn’t hesitate. This decision would be the start of a beautiful friendship. Over the years, Hillary has had her own troubles, including decisions surrounding Benghazi, email controversy, among others, however, Obama always supported, encouraged, and defended his choice of Secretary over the years, knowing what many of us don’t, the personal side, passion, and dedication that Clinton offers the country.
From Foe to Friend
President Obama has not only admitted that his relationship with Hillary Clinton has grown over the years, but he now considers her a close friend. In addition, he also offered a personal account on how their relationship has changed over the years, how he has observed Clinton’s tenacity, determination, and overall character that makes her the best choice for President and his primary choice in the elections.
Politico offered some insight into the transition from foe to friend and pointed out that the very differences that they faced early on is a testament to the character, influence, and promise that Clinton has to offer the country. Covering the idea that if Obama can have a change of heart, then the people of America can too, stating, “I think that he can be very helpful, particularly with Democratic voters and some independent voters who have doubts. He can do that by sharing his own experience. They were rivals, they had their differences; that gives him some additional standing.”
The Impact of Friendship
Now that Hillary has the official support of the President, many are wondering just how this unlikely friendship will play out in the upcoming election. After eight years of working side by side, many are hoping that Clinton’s interest are more aligned with Obama’s policies and changes made during his tenure, giving more weight to continuing the legacy that has made him one of America’s greatest leaders.
In addition to the policy alignment, Obama is expected to be a major advocate for the “character” of Clinton, citing personal insight, direct working experience, and qualifications that only a “boss” can offer for a potential candidate. While the relationship means major points for the Clinton camp, it’s not without potential strain. According to a recent Real Clear Politics polls, the average American is unhappy with the current state of the country, foregoing Clinton’s ability to ride the Obama administration into her term. While having a major endorsement like Obama will no doubt impact her success, understanding that a majority of Americans are not looking for another Obama presidency, Hillary will have to tread carefully as she navigates the support and opposition of her biggest advocate.
When all is said and done, the main message is that no matter how different people are, with close working relationships, personal insight, and direct contact, even the greatest adversaries can come to realize that they have more in common than they thought, and this is a prime example of how a foe can in fact become a friend.