Time for Hillary in 2012?

By Proof

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A couple of Democratic pollsters, one for Jimmy Carter and one for Bill Clinton have an interesting editorial in the Wall St. Journal. Here's a taste:

When Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson accepted the reality that they could not effectively govern the nation if they sought re-election to the White House, both men took the moral high ground and decided against running for a new term as president. President Obama is facing a similar reality—and he must reach the same conclusion.

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.

Frequent leaders of this blog will note that a Hillary candidacy has been expected, even if she has to be reluctantly dragged to the nomination. (Depends on what your definition of "reluctantly" is.) Caddell and Schoen provide the rationale for a Hillary draft.

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.

It's the three AM phone call all over again!

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.

In essence, they are saying that even if Obama manages to get himself re-elected, he will continue to damage the party beyond repair. And they're right. Whether Obama wins the nomination or goes on to win next November, it will be a Pyrrhic victory for Democrats.

Hillary is by no means a lock on the White House, but either way, she damages Democrats (and the country) less.

Read the rest here.

H/T Memeorandum

Cross posted at Proof Positive


  1. I've been thinking along this line for months and have posted on it. I wouldn't be surprised if Hillary is drafted. The only problem is, Hillary is Obama in a pants suit. She is of the same ilk.

  2. I agree with TCL on this one. Think in terms of Obama light.

  3. This thought also occurred to me several months ago too, but I don't recall the event that made me consider the possibility.
    Hillary = Obama lite? I cannot imagine she could be worse, but I would have said the same thing about Jimmy Carter too!

  4. It makes sense until you think of the rhetoric. First "black" president stepping aside for a privileged white woman?

  5. It would be a good move for those who hope to preserve the expansion of government that has taken place under Obama. Someone different to carry the leftist banner could energize the faithful "progressives" who seem even more despondent than the conservatives lately.

    Even Chris Matthews' erection for Obama has gone limp. His leg hardly tingles at all anymore.

    However, the size of government will expand even if the Republicans prevail under the most likely scenarios being floated. It's only a matter of the speed of descent unless someone who has a completely different agenda is selected.

    Past Republican history on that possibility doesn't offer much encouragement.

  6. This. Will. Never. Happen.

    (..he said, guaranteeing this to happen.)

  7. It will never happen - more wishful thinking.

    Obama is and will be their candidate. He is still hoping the economy will be in SOME KIND of recovery by next year to take credit for it. He has a strong base and strong fund raising skills. No one like Hillary would attempt to dethrone him because it would be cannibalism (just like what happens here).

    There might be a Blue Dog challenger, but he won't stand a chance.

    She might be appointed UN Ambassador or perhaps as a federal judge or the Supreme Court. She doesn't have much of a law background which will at least play well in opposing her.

    She might also take over as president of a university.

  8. CL & RN: Don't think of Hillary as "Obama Light", but as "Not Obama". This has great appeal even to Democrats

    John: See has better foreign policy creds than Barry. (Then again, who doesn't?)

    Chuck: Never underestimate the cachet of the "first woman president".

    Grant: No one is expecting Hillary to save the republic. She might, however, save the Democrats.

    WP &NR: It all depends on the Clinton's polling data between now and the primaries.

  9. Proof: Hard as it is to admit, I had never been to your site before today. Now I have. It's terrific. Carry on.

  10. "Never underestimate the cachet of the "first woman president".

    Just as Brak missed out on being the first black president because he was first edged out by Bill Clinton; so Hillary Clinton will never be the first overtly feminine President of the United States.

    Brak's revenge.


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