CN) – President Barack Obama will tout Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s readiness to lead Wednesday night, telling delegates and Americans tuning in from home that nothing truly prepares you for managing a global crisis or sending people to war, “but Hillary’s been in the room; she’s been part of those decisions.”
“She knows what’s at stake in the decisions our government makes for the working family, the senior citizen, the small business owner, the soldier, and the veteran,” the president will say.
In addition to loyalty to his former secretary of state and his party’s standard-bearer, the president’s strong support is due in part to his concern that GOP nominee Donald Trump might win in November and un-do all of his signature accomplishments..
In excerpts released Wednesday ahead of his speech to the Democratic convention, Obama acknowledged the economic and security anxieties that have helped fuel Trump’s rise, but he argued they don’t define the country.
“The America I know is full of courage and optimism and ingenuity,” Obama said.
“Sure, we have real anxieties — about paying the bills, protecting our kids, caring for a sick parent. We get frustrated with political gridlock, worry about racial divisions; are shocked and saddened by the madness of Orlando or Nice.” he continued in the excerpts.
“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. Parents who wonder whether their kids will have the same opportunities we have,” the president said.
“All that is real; we’re challenged to do better; to be better,” Obama said. “But as I’ve traveled this country, through all fifty states; as I’ve rejoiced with you and mourned with you, what I’ve also seen, more than anything, is what is right with America. I see people working hard and starting businesses; people teaching kids and serving our country. I see a younger generation full of energy and new ideas, unconstrained by what is, and ready to seize what ought to be.”
Returning to the subject of his hoped for successor, Obama will say that “Even in the middle of crisis, she listens to people, and keeps her cool, and treats everybody with respect. And no matter how daunting the odds; no matter how much people try to knock her down, she never, ever quits.
“That’s the Hillary I know. That’s the Hillary I’ve come to admire,” the president said in the excerpt.
While Obama’s soaring remarks are expected to dominate the nighttime news cycle, for most of Wednesday, it was Donald Trump who held the media spotlight if only because of his latest outrageous statement.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday morning, Trump took over the day’s narrative by encouraging Russia to meddle in the presidential campaign — even as he dismissed suggestions from Obama and other Democrats that Moscow was already acting on his behalf.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said during a news conference in Florida Wednesday morning.
“I think you’ll be rewarded mightily by our press,” he declared.
Moments later, Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, vowed in a statement released by the Trump campaign there would be “serious consequences” if Russia interfered in the presidential election.
But that didn’t mollify the Clinton campaign which called Trump’s remarks the latest evidence that the Billionaire real estate mogul is unqualified to be commander in chief.
Significantly, after days of being pilloried by Fox News and conservative Republicans for not repeatedly invoking the threat of radical Islamic terrorists, Wednesday night’s prime time speeches will be largely intended to burnish Clinton’s national security credentials.
“Even in the middle of crisis, she listens to people, and keeps her cool, and treats everybody with respect,” President Obama says in speech experts released late Wednesday afternoon. “And no matter how daunting the odds, no matter how much people try to knock her down, she never, ever quits.”
In another noteworthy move aimed at broadening Clinton’s appeal, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg — an independent who considered launching a third party bid for president — will endorse the Democratic nominee.
Vice President Joe Biden will address the delegates, as will Clinton’s running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.
Even before they brought out the big guns on the third night of DNC, the Democratic party trotting out military veterans, family of fallen vets, a retired rear admiral and former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Leon Panetta to challenge the GOP’s claim as the party of the military and defense.
“This is no time to gamble with our future,” Panetta said. “America faces flash points and threats from around the globe. We need a president who’s strong and smart.”
In Cleveland last week, the Republican Party tapped military personnel to convince voters that Hillary Clinton and the Democrats would not only fail to keep the U.S. safe, but will continue to put the military unnecessarily in harm’s way.
Benghazi vets who escaped barely escaped the American consulate with their lives told their harrowing tale before endorsing Trump. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrel also spoke, as did retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
The Democrats countered with a bevy of vets Wednesday night, including retired Rear Admiral John Hutson and Panetta, who each stated that Trump would make for a woeful commander in chief.
Panetta was briefly interrupted during his speech by chants of “No more war,” but laughed and nodded his head in approval.
He then told the crowd that Trump’s recent call for Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s email constituted taking Moscow’s side.
FILE – In this July 22, 2016 file photo, President Barack Obama speak in the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex in Washington. The Democratic National Convention speaker’s lineup has highlighted an increasingly diverse country that could soon elect the first female president as successor to its first black chief executive. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)