Pat Caddell & Doug Schoen, pollsters for the two Democratic Party presidents before Obama (Carter and Clinton) have an unusual op-ed piece in today’s WSJ. It is not unusual in its content, because many Democratic Party “moderates” agree with them. What makes this request different is it was made in public. The two pollsters have asked thee POTUS to follow the examples of LBJ and Harry Truman by not running for re-election.
The two argue that the only way Obama can win is to run a very negative campaign, and even if he does win he will not be able to govern so the best thing he could do is cancel the reelection bid and turn the reigns over to Secretary of State Clinton.
He should abandon his candidacy for re-election in favor of a clear alternative, one capable not only of saving the Democratic Party, but more important, of governing effectively and in a way that preserves the most important of the president’s accomplishments. He should step aside for the one candidate who would become, by acclamation, the nominee of the Democratic Party: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Never before has there been such an obvious potential successor—one who has been a loyal and effective member of the president’s administration, who has the stature to take on the office, and who is the only leader capable of uniting the country around a bipartisan economic and foreign policy.
Hilary the unifier. What are they freaking kidding me?
Certainly, Mr. Obama could still win re-election in 2012. Even with his all-time low job approval ratings (and even worse ratings on handling the economy) the president could eke out a victory in November. But the kind of campaign required for the president’s political survival would make it almost impossible for him to govern—not only during the campaign, but throughout a second term.
Put simply, it seems that the White House has concluded that if the president cannot run on his record, he will need to wage the most negative campaign in history to stand any chance. With his job approval ratings below 45% overall and below 40% on the economy, the president cannot affirmatively make the case that voters are better off now than they were four years ago. He—like everyone else—knows that they are worse off.
Here’s the problem with their argument, as noble as it may seem. They assume that Barack Obama actually gives a rats arse what happens to the party, that he has been able to govern for the past two years of his administration, and that he would actually have some sort of moral objection to running a negative campaign for re-election.
This president has been running a negative campaign for re-election since the day after the inauguration, it has gotten worse since he began to lose his base a little over a year ago. This is the President who refused to meet with Speaker Boehner before announcing his jobs plan then criticized the speaker for not coming up with a plan (even though the house passed a few budget/jobs plans that were rejected by the Democratic Party-led Senate.
As far as the party goes, this is the president who refuses to get his hands dirty when it comes to pushing through his legislation, like Obamacare for example, and lets the party faithful lose their congressional seats because of their support of this president’s policy.
What these two pollsters forget is the arrogance of this president., he knows better than the people, they only object because the right wingers are misleading them, they don’t understand….etc. Never in the deepest caverns of his mind could he ever believe that he could lose.
From some people’s perspective a Hilary Clinton administration would not be much different than Obama’s. Hillarycare went beyond Obamacare, on other issues she is as much a progressive as the current president (and I would argue more progressive than her husband). Our foreign policy under her leadership has been a mess. We turned the Arab spring into the radical Muslim spring, and for those of you who support Israel, lets just say the only time in her political career she hasn’t been anti-Israel is when she was NY Senator and needed the Jewish vote. It was Hillary who made the “settlements” the central issue of the Obama mid-east policy.
If President Obama is not willing to seize the moral high ground and step aside, then the two Democratic leaders in Congress, Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, must urge the president not to seek re-election—for the good of the party and most of all for the good of the country. And they must present the only clear alternative—Hillary Clinton.
I wouldn’t hold my breath gentlemen. This president is neither a leader or a statesman.