But this week, Clinton took a detour, stopping in Atlanta to headline a fundraiser for U.S. Senate candidate Mike Thurmond, who is looking to unseat well-funded, well-liked GOP incumbent Johnny Isakson.
Polls and his own campaign coffers show Thurmond faces an uphill battle with less than two months to go until the general election - not a scenario attracting many Democratic heavyweights like Clinton in this election cycle.
Years ago it was Thurmond who made the unpopular choices, working on the welfare reforms championed by Clinton and, in 2008, endorsing Hillary Clinton for president.
"It's not what typically happens in the high stakes political environment of American politics," Thurmond said this week. "But it's one of the basic rules of politics: You don't forget the people who help you, especially at critical moments in time."
Thurmond could use the help. His last campaign finance disclosure showed him with $117,000 - not nearly enough to pay for a statewide media campaign. Isakson has raised nearly $8 million and has already launched two television ads.
Clinton's appearance at Thursday's fundraiser could be a much-needed shot in the arm for Thurmond's campaign, and a thank-you for his support over the years.
"Thurmond has always backed the Clintons," said Clark Atlanta University political science professor William Boone. "Bill Clinton showing up helps him with money, with visibility. It raises the idea that here's a guy who does have some national support."
The gesture is at least a symbolic show of support, said Emory University political science professor Alan Abramowitz.
"It is probably more of a personal connection, paying back Thurmond for his past support and loyalty," Abramowitz said. "It will help him ... make a respectable showing."
Thurmond met Clinton during the mid-1990s when Thurmond was appointed director of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services. Under Clinton, such agencies across the country had been authorized to implement welfare reform - a polarizing issue seen by some as a move to take away benefits from the poor and minorities.
Still, Thurmond's office created Work First, an initiative to take people out of the system and put them into jobs.
"Employment became our primary way to address poverty," Thurmond said. "What people who come seeking public assistance really need is money. Jobs pay more than welfare."
Clinton took notice of Thurmond's work and he was invited to speak to agencies across the country about the program. Thurmond even traveled to England after meeting then-Prime Minister Tony Blair to help with welfare reform.
"My success was more or less defined by President Clinton," Thurmond said. "He embraced me and gave me a platform on a national and international stage."
During Thurmond's three-year tenure as head of the division, the Work First program saved more than $100 million that was reinvested in childcare, training and other support services, according to Thurmond. The state's welfare rolls were reduced by 60 percent, getting 90,000 Georgians into jobs.
Thurmond said he was offered a position in the Clinton administration to run the U.S. Department of Family and Children Services and oversee welfare reform across the country. Thurmond declined, opting instead to run for state labor commissioner, a position he has held for 12 years.
Clinton and Thurmond continued to cross paths after both men left their respective offices. When Hillary Clinton announced she would seek the Democratic nomination for president, Thurmond was an early supporter and stayed on as others jumped ship in favor of Barack Obama.
Thurmond said he is humbled that Clinton would return the favor.
"He's the former president of the United States, putting his reputation, his time, and his energy into helping a guy like me," Thurmond said. "It's really hard to put into words."