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The Big Dog is back. Clinton, still in recovery, is going to stump for Kerry in Philly.

Former President Clinton will appear with Sen. John Kerry at a lunchtime rally in Philadelphia Monday in what Democrats hope will be a boost to the presidential ticket in a crucial battleground state.

The two-term former president also will campaign separately for the Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Lockhart, an adviser to Kerry and former Clinton press secretary, said Wednesday.

Clinton, who is recovering from heart surgery, has agreed to the appearance for his fellow Democrat, who is locked in a tight race against President Bush.

Clinton has spent the last six weeks recovering from quadruple bypass surgery, with doctors instructing him to get plenty of rest. Kerry campaign officials have eagerly awaited word of whether Clinton could get out to personally encourage voters to support the Democratic presidential nominee.

Earlier Tuesday, during a stop in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Kerry told a local TV station that Clinton may come help him in that state, where polls showed the Democrat tied with Bush. McCurry said the campaign hopes the former president will be strong enough to visit other battlegrounds, as well.

…Even though he has not been traveling, Clinton regularly phones Kerry and his aides to offer advice. He also has agreed to tape a phone message that will be delivered to voters’ homes, and he may record radio advertisements.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding