Charlotte, North Carolina (CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton's convention speech Wednesday night may be rooted in the former president's own re-election bid from 1996, a time when Clinton pushed similar narratives as President Barack Obama's current campaign slogan to move the country "forward."
"There are some thematic echoes between the two presidents," a senior campaign official said while speaking with CNN reporters covering the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
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The official highlighted Clinton's call for government reform at the time, as well as higher tax rates, health care reform, and the slashing of wasteful spending. Like Obama, Clinton also talked about the need for investment in education, high-tech manufacturing and infrastructure, the official added.
"(Clinton) didn't use the words at the time, but what he was advocating really do add up to what Obama now calls his balanced approach to reducing the deficit," the official said.
Asked if the campaign expects Clinton to help Obama appeal to voters in certain states, the official said they had not analyzed it "state-by-state" but added Clinton did well with heartland states and the Southwest in 1996. "Nothing has changed in that," the official added.
A separate senior campaign official was unsure if Clinton had finished his speech but confirmed the campaign had seen drafts of his prepared remarks.
Team Obama has previously said they chose Clinton, who also spoke at the 2008 convention, because the former president "validates" Obama's economic ideas. A campaign official said Wednesday the former president will not attack his successor, former President George W. Bush, in his speech, but the official did not say the same thing about Obama's current Republican challenger.
"I can't promise you that Mitt Romney's name will be in there. I wouldn't be surprised. But the speech is bigger than that; it's about how we're going to build an economy meant to last," the official said.
Romney's campaign, however, argues there's a sharp contrast between Obama and Clinton, no matter how closely they try to align their policies.
"Bill Clinton was a different kind of Democrat than Barack Obama," Rep. Paul Ryan, Romney's running mate, said Wednesday in an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan. "Bill Clinton gave us welfare reform. Bill Clinton worked with the Republicans to cut spending. Bill Clinton did not play the kind of political games that President Obama's playing."
Also featured in the prime time hour of 10 p.m. ET is Elizabeth Warren, a popular Democrat who's challenging Republican Sen. Scott Brown for his Senate seat in Massachusetts. A former adviser to the president, Warren came up with the idea for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and now paints herself as a strong consumer advocate on the campaign trail.
The campaign said they expect Warren to talk about the financial reform bill signed into law by the president in 2010, as well as bolster one of the convention's biggest themes this week: expanding the middle class.
Similar to Tuesday night–which campaign officials described as "electric"–Wednesday night's lineup will include messages on the need to build the economy from "the middle out" and focus on the president's "tough decisions," such as the auto bailout and health care reform, officials said.
Other featured speakers will be Sister Simone Campbell, the nun behind "Nuns on a Bus," a road tour that crossed nine states to campaign against Ryan's budget plan. The nuns argued the GOP-backed proposal does not comport with the moral teachings of the Catholic Church.
Three laid-off workers from now-defunct companies that had been bought by Bain Capital, Romney's former private equity firm, will also appear on stage. Campaign officials said the former employees will illustrate Romney's corporate mentality.
Hitting on the economy again, two CEOs–one who heads Carmax, the other who heads Costco-will speak about the president's plan for building a skilled workforce and investing in innovation, the official said.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, who was tapped by the Obama campaign to play the role Rep. Ryan in debate prep for Vice President Joe Biden, will also give an address, namely hitting on Ryan's budget plan. The congressman serves on the House Budget committee that Ryan chairs.
Following the release of a new CNN/ORC International poll that showed Romney only received a one-point bounce after the convention, a senior Obama campaign official also downplayed expectations, saying the party gatherings fall so late in the calendar year now, that big swings are rare.
The official said candidates no longer get double digit swings, like the 16-point bump Clinton received after the 1992 convention in New York. Because of higher interest early on and long primary seasons, the "process is fundamentally different" now so that voters get exposed to the candidates much sooner and form their opinions before the conventions.