Obama Says Hillary Clinton Would Make ‘Excellent President’

Obama: Hillary Would Be an Excellent President

On the eve of Hillary Clinton’s anticipated announcement of a 2016 White House run, U.S. President Barack Obama said his former secretary of state and fellow Democrat would be an excellent successor.

Clinton, who is expected to declare her candidacy on Sunday, would be very clear about “her vision for the country moving forward,” Obama said Saturday during a news conference in Panama after a summit of Western Hemisphere leaders.

“She was a formidable candidate in 2008, she was a great supporter of mine in the general election, she was an outstanding secretary of state, she is my friend,” Obama said of his vanquished primary foe from seven years ago. “I think she would be an excellent president.”

The announcement is a long-awaited step for the former first lady and New York senator, 67, who has spent several months building a campaign team and plotting a path to the presidency aimed at avoiding the missteps of her 2008 bid. She enters the race as the party’s frontrunner, facing little immediate competition from Democrats and leading all likely Republican hopefuls in national and swing state polling.

“She’s going to be able to handle herself very well in conversations that are based around foreign policy,” Obama said. “If she decides to run and she makes an announcement, she’s going to have some strong messages to deliver.”

Obama declined to characterize on Saturday the race for the Democratic nomination as a forgone conclusion.

“Not only have I won my last election but I’m not in the business of prognosticating future elections,” he said.

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