WASHINGTON -- Former President Bill Clinton is set to play a central part in the Democratic convention, aides said, and will formally place President Barack Obama's name into nomination by delivering a prime-time speech designed to present a forceful economic argument for why Obama deserves to win a second term.
The prominent role of Clinton, which is scheduled to be announced on Monday, signals an effort by the Obama campaign to pull out all the stops to rally Democrats when they gather for their party's national convention in Charlotte, N.C. An even more important audience will be the voters across the country who will see the address carried by television networks.
"There isn't anybody on the planet who has a greater perspective on not just the last four years, but the last two decades, than Bill Clinton," David Axelrod, a top strategist to the Obama campaign, said in an interview Sunday. "He can really articulate the choice that is before people."
The decision to give Clinton a marquee speech at the convention on Sept. 5 means that Vice President Joe Biden will not speak until the final night, aides said, when he and Obama will appear together outdoors at Bank of America Stadium. The vice president will introduce Obama before they accept the party's nomination for a second term in the White House.
It is unusual in recent election cycles, although not without precedent, for the vice president not to get the stage to himself