Its not a big deal when I suggest to Obama that he consider not running for reelection, or you hear it from Republican pundits on TV News/Talk shows. It’s even no big deal when unnamed Democrats whisper that the President has no chance of winning and should give way to a Democrat with a better chance of winning.
But when a member of the editorial board of one of the President’s hometown papers make the suggestion in print, then it becomes big news. In today’s Chicago Tribune. Steve Chapman a member of the Editorial Board held back no punches as wrote just such an opinion piece.
The sputtering economy is about to stall out, unemployment is high, his jobs program may not pass, foreclosures are rampant and the poor guy can’t even sneak a cigarette.
His approval rating is at its lowest level ever. His party just lost two House elections — one in a district it had held for 88 consecutive years. He’s staked his future on the jobs bill, which most Americans don’t think would work.
The vultures are starting to circle. Former White House spokesman Bill Burton said that unless Obama can rally the Democratic base, which is disillusioned with him, “it’s going to be impossible for the president to win.” Democratic consultant James Carville had one word of advice for Obama: “Panic.”
Chapman suggests that Obama should get out before he is thrown out, but then he says something really frightening:
It’s not as though there is much enticement to stick around. Presidents who win re-election have generally found, wrote John Fortier and Norman Ornstein in their 2007 book, “Second-Term Blues,” that “their second terms did not measure up to their first.”
Can you imagine that? If a first term Obama Presidency was bad, history tells us that a second term will be even worse. This will give people nightmares.
Presidential encores are generally a bog of frustration, exhaustion and embarrassment. They are famous for lowest moments rather than finest hours. Richard Nixon was forced to resign in disgrace, Reagan had the Iran-Contra scandal, and Bill Clinton made the unfortunate acquaintance of Monica Lewinsky.
..Besides avoiding this indignity, Obama might do his party a big favor. In hard times, voters have a powerful urge to punish incumbents. He could slake this thirst by stepping aside and taking the blame. Then someone less reviled could replace him at the top of the ticket.
What is Chapman’s solution? that Hilary Clinton become the Democratic Party standard- bearer.
Clinton is a savvy political veteran who already knows how to run for president. Oh, and a new Bloomberg poll finds her to be merely “the most popular national political figure in America today.”
If he runs for re-election, Obama may find that the only fate worse than losing is winning. But he might arrange things so it will be Clinton who has the unenviable job of reviving the economy, balancing the budget, getting out of Afghanistan and grappling with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Obama, meanwhile, will be on a Hawaiian beach, wrestling the cap off a Corona.
Interestingly today former President Bill Clinton commented on Dick Chaney’s suggestion that his wife would be a better President than Obama.
“Well, you know, I’m very proud of her, so I’m always gratified whenever anyone says anything nice about her. And I very much agree that she’s done a good job,” Clinton told Bob Schieffer on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“But I also have a high regard for Vice President Cheney’s political skills, and I think one of those great skills is sowing discord among the opposition. So I think he’s right that she’s done a heck of a job. But she is a member of this administration, and committed to doing it. And I think he, by saying something nice about her in the way that he did, knew that it might cause a little trouble,” Clinton continued.
“I don’t want to help him succeed in his political strategy. But I admire that he’s still out there hitting the ball.”
The truth is there is little chance that Hilary Clinton wage a challenge against President Obama, that would splinter the Democratic party into so many pieces it would take years for a united party to reunited again. Even if Obama is somehow booted a Clinton campaign would be fraught with disunity.
In the end, its nice to see the liberal media starting to gripe against the Teflon President, maybe during the next few months, instead of genuflecting at the name Obama, they will start doing their job by reporting the truth whether it helps or hurts the Obamessiah. That would be very interesting to watch.