Bill Clinton to have a prominent role at Democratic Convention

Former President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama wave to the crowd during a campaign event at the Waldorf Astoria, Monday, June 4, 2012, in New York.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
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Former President Bill Clinton and President Obama wave to the crowd during a campaign event at the Waldorf Astoria, June 4, 2012, in New York.
(CBS News) Former President Bill Clinton will have a major role in this year's Democratic Convention and will speak on Wednesday night in the slot traditionally reserved for the vice presidential nominee.

Monday, convention organizers will announce Clinton's speech, first reported by the New York Times and confirmed by CBS News, which will happen in prime time on Wednesday, Sept. 5, at a time when the TV networks are expected to be covering the convention live.

An Obama campaign adviser tells CBS News the former president will place President Obama's name in nomination for a second term and focus on highlighting Mr. Obama's economic record.

"There's no one better to cut through on economic issues and lay out the choice in the election because he understands the consequences of the policy differences - he knows that with its top-down approach, the GOP turned a record surplus into a record deficit leading to the worst economic crisis since the Depression," the Obama campaign adviser told CBS News via email. "He'll lay out the case to continue building the economy from the middle class out."

Mr. Clinton remains one of the most popular Democrats in the country, and despite a series of seemingly contrasting viewpoints with Mr. Obama, his speech should offer a boost to the president as he embarks on his general election campaign against Mitt Romney.

As for Vice President Joe Biden, who's being bumped from the traditional Wednesday night slot, he'll wind up introducing President Obama on Thursday, Sept. 6, at the larger Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, where Mr. Obama will deliver his acceptance speech.

"The VP will speak Thursday because that night is the focal point of the Convention. He and the President will speak to tens of thousands of people at the stadium," the adviser continued.

"He'll build toward the President's speech by giving unique insights and perspective of the President's governing character and the challenges/decisions over the last four years in a way that only he can."

CBS News' Caroline Horn contributed to this report.

  • Steve Chaggaris

    Steve Chaggaris is CBS News' senior political editor.