IF ONLY THIS WOULD KNOCK SOME SENSE INTO HIS HEAD
It's quite possible that Hillary Clinton would have been a better president than Barack Obama.
It's also quite possible that she would have bombed Iran, made John McCain her secretary of defense, and maintained a very similar economic policy to Obama's with a very similar economic team. Also -- I don't care what the conventional wisdom about Democratic inevitability in 2008 was -- it's quite possible she would have lost. The right didn't start saying nice things about Hillary until it was impossible for her to win the nomination; if she'd had a chance, we'd have had a year's worth of the same old attacks on her laugh and her ankles and her allegedly castrating ways, not to mention her youthful "radicalism" and interest in Alinsky. It's possible that John McCain might not have seen the disastrous Sarah Palin as effective counterprogramming to the Democratic ticket; it's likely that turnout for Hillary among young and non-white voters would have been far lower, and the male vote, which Obama split with McCain, would, alas, have skewed far more in the GOP's favor. Long story short, I think McCain could have eked out a win against her.
I have no love for the PUMAs, so I should be more upset than I am that a Hillaryite is doling out large dollars to run a Hillary-in-2012 ad:
..."She has more experience working in and with the White House than most living presidents. She is one of the most admired women in our nation's history. Let's make sure the president we should have elected in 2008 will be on the ballot in 2012. Hillary 2012: Hillary Clinton for President. Start now. Where there's a Hill there's a way," says an ad that began running on television in New Orleans Wednesday.
The commercial was paid for by a Chicago dentist named William DeJean.
When asked why he put the ad up, DeJean told CNN Thursday that "I'm a dentist and I don't think this country is headed in the right direction."
... He says he spent $5,000 to create the commercial and tells CNN that besides New Orleans, the ad will run in Washington, New York and Los Angeles, and possible Houston....
It's a cheesy piece of filmmaking -- the first half, words notwithstanding, looks like an ad for a men's razor -- but that's not the problem. The problem is that it's ridiculous to imagine that Hillary Clinton, who genuinely seems to like President Obama, is going to quit her job and ramp up right now to end his political career.
Though I admit I find myself wishing that someone would, or something.
Well, maybe not end his political career as much as knock it off the Titanic course it's on. What would shake this guy up? What would motivate him to develop a sense of urgency about both addressing the concerns of ordinary recession-burdened Americans and (because it's a political necessity) seeming to care about those concerns?
A quote from a Washington Post article this morning:
But some Democratic candidates and political operatives feel the president is not doing enough to help them keep control of Congress, privately expressing frustration that Obama has recently emphasized issues other than the economy.
"We did the mosque, Katrina, Iraq, and now Middle East peace?" said a Democratic strategist who works closely with multiple candidates and spoke on the condition of anonymity. "And in between you redo the Oval Office? It has become a joke."
(And yes, I realize that this anonymous Dem, by saying this out loud to a reporter, compounds the party's problems.)
I don't want a mutual-assured-destruction primary fight in 2012 -- but at this point, I half-wish a challenger to Obama would announce. The threat might concentrate his mind.
This Hillary ad won't do that, because he knows she's not going to turn on him. But he needs a shakeup.
I wouldn't shed a tear if he weren't the candidate in 2012, if the process of replacing him weren't destructive. I wish there were a gray eminence in the party who could persuade him that if unemployment is still 9.5% or higher on, say, Memorial Day 2011, he should announce that he's not running for reelection and clear the field.
But that won't happen. And, unfortunately, an unemployment rate that high on Memorial Day 2011 -- and a year after that -- probably will happen.