Obama and the first lady have invoked Clinton’s name many times on the campaign trail since his well-received speech to the Democratic convention earlier this month. Both Obama and his GOP opponent, Mitt Romney, have featured Clinton’s policies in TV ads, with Romney charging that Obama is gutting Clinton policies and Obama warning that Romney's plan contrasts with the days of plenty represented by the Clinton years.
"Barack stays in close communication with all the former presidents, and Bill Clinton has been an important adviser, friend and supporter for a very long time,” the first lady told “Access Hollywood” in an interview airing on Thursday and Friday this week. “Barack understands that to be good at this job, you've got to learn and listen to those who've done it. And because there are so few people alive today who've done this job, you don't waste any advice. He's reached out to all the living presidents and seeks their advice and counsel."
Clinton has also headlined fundraisers on Obama’s behalf this cycle, but in 2008, when his wife Hillary Clinton was competing against Obama for the Democratic nomination, Bill Clinton was one of Obama’s most outspoken opponents.
“We haven't been close friends a long time or anything like that, but [Obama] knows that I support him,” Clinton told NBC News earlier this month.
Clinton’s popularity has grown since he left the presidency, which might be one reason both presidential campaigns are now referring to him as they argue in favor of their own policies.
—Updated at 4:54 p.m.