CHARLOTTE, North Carolina: Barack Obama delivered a forceful plea Tuesday for Hillary Clinton to succeed him as president, praising the character of his former secretary of state whose horizon brightened after the FBI recommended no charges be filed over her email scandal. Obama, returning to a swing state that helped elect him in 2008, laid out a passionate, compelling case declaring he is “ready to pass the baton” to Clinton and urging voters to make her the nation’s first female commander in chief. “I’m here today because I believe in Hillary Clinton,” Obama told a fired-up crowd at a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, pumping his fist and leading chants of “Hillary! Hillary! There has never been any man or woman more qualified for this office. Ever!” But Obama’s debut appearance on the 2016 campaign trail, while it showcased his trademark oratory and communication skills, was overshadowed by the extraordinary announcement hours earlier in Washington. Clinton and Obama flew together to North Carolina aboard Air Force One for the first in a series of high-profile rallies that the candidate hopes will energize voters—particularly minorities who remain enamored with the outgoing president, in crucial battleground states where the November election will be decided.