PHILADELPHIA: President Barack Obama painted an optimistic picture of America’s future in a speech on Wednesday aimed at giving full-hearted support to Hillary Clinton to help her defeat Republican rival Donald Trump and become the first woman elected US president.
“There has never been a man or woman, not me, not Bill (Clinton) - nobody more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States,” Obama said to cheers.
Speaking to the Democratic Party convention in Philadelphia, Obama offered an alternative to businessman Trump’s vision of the United States as being under siege from illegal immigrants and terrorism and losing its way in the world.
“I am more optimistic about the future of America than ever before,” Obama told cheering delegates at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Democratic president laid out what he said were a series of advances during his two terms in office, such as recovery from economic recession, the Obamacare healthcare reform and the 2011 killing of Al Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden.
Nodding to voters’ concerns, Obama said he understood frustrations “with political gridlock, worry about racial divisions” and the slow pace of economic growth.
“There are pockets of America that never recovered from factory closures; men who took pride in hard work and providing for their families who now feel forgotten,” Obama said.
Clinton made history on Tuesday when she became the first woman to secure the presidential nomination from a major party.
When she formally accepts it on Thursday, she will become the Democratic standard-bearer against Republican nominee Trump in the November 8 election.
At the convention on Wednesday, US Senator Tim Kaine accepted the Democratic vice presidential nomination.
Obama and Clinton were rivals in the hard-fought campaign for the 2008 Democratic nomination. After winning that election, he appointed her his secretary of state.
Democrats have buttressed Clinton with a star gathering of current and past party notables at this week’s convention. By contrast, many prominent Republicans were absent from the party convention that nominated Trump for the White House last week.
But Trump got a boost in opinion polls from his convention.
He had a 2-point lead over Clinton in a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday, the first time he has been ahead since early May.