President Barack Obama made a "secret deal" to endorse Hillary Clinton in 2016, in exchange for Bill Clinton's support before the November election, author Edward Klein says.
Klein, author of last year's explosive "The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House," writes that despite the former president's reported animosity toward Obama, Clinton agreed to prominently back him at the Democratic National Convention, according to an excerpt of the book's new paperback edition:
[A]s last summer wore on, and Democrat enthusiasm waned, chief political strategist David Axelrod convinced the president that he needed Bill Clinton’s mojo.
A deal was struck: Clinton would give the key nominating speech at the convention, and a full-throated endorsement of Obama. In exchange, Obama would endorse Hillary Clinton as his successor.
Clinton’s speech was as promised; columnists pointed out the surprising enthusiasm in which he described the president. It also lived up to Obama’s fears, as more people talked about Clinton’s speech in the weeks following than his own.
But after his re-election, Obama began to have second thoughts. He would prefer to stay neutral in the next election, as is traditional of outgoing presidents.
Bill Clinton went ballistic and threatened retaliation. Obama backed down. He called his favorite journalist, Steve Kroft of “60 Minutes,” and offered an unprecedented “farewell interview” with departing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
It was Klein who wrote last year that Clinton ripped Obama as an "amateur" and tried to persuade his then-secretary of state wife to quit her post and challenge Obama in 2012. Representatives for the Clintons and for Obama strongly denied the claims, which the White House called "nonsense."
Hillary Clinton is considered a top Democratic contender for 2016, along with Vice President Joe Biden.