Barack Obama has been fighting everyone about his recent working decision to keep GW Bush’s across-the-board tax cuts afloat for the next 2 years. Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal wrote a brilliant article demonstrating that President Obama looks like a big baby as he castigates the Right, the Left, AND the media over HIS decision to compromise. Normally, when a leader compromises, he doesn’t say, “I’m going to rescind my decision in 2 years” (when his presidency is over), but celebrates the fact he was able to find common ground amidst the most challenging times for the good of all people (sheesh!). Why would one alienate his enemies, his followers, and his cheerleaders?The other day there was a worse spectacle: President Obama let’s President Clinton speak as an apologist to his tax-cut extension decision. What was queerer is at that event, after Clinton spoke for 5 minutes, President Obama announced he had to go to a Christmas party and “we all know you shouldn’t keep the President’s Wife waiting”. Citizen Clinton went on to take questions from the press for 20 minutes!!! (something President Obama never does). Obama handed his bully pulpit over to Clinton – is this the bizzaro world? Pundits were rightly asking “Who is the president?” It feels like it’s a scene from “Back to the Future”; all we need is a souped-up DeLorean and Huey Lewis singing “Back in Time” and we will see Lyndon Johnson defending a public option for health care! Why would President Obama let President Clinton own his podium unsupervised? The numbers just don’t add up.
Here are a few thoughts:
1) WikiLeaks has leaked a wiki-lot. Remember file gate? Remember all the republicans in power stepping down during the Clinton administration and the Clinton scandals? Remember Hustler’s Larry Flint offering all kinds of cash for dirt on republicans? This mini-era is so Clintonesque. I wonder how much dirt is on the Obama team and their decisions; call me a conspiracy theorist but I think Mr. and Mrs. Clinton might have neutered the current administration through some unwitting surrogates.
2) Obama is failing badly. The aforementioned Noonan article suggests, traditionally, a candidate from either party running against a sitting president is usually a loser for both candidates and the party. The challenge doesn’t come from the establishment but from the unhappy fringe; that goes for both parties. She points to Kennedy/Carter, Reagan/Ford, and some others. She also suggests the only possible viable Obama challenger would be Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. I think she’s right.
3) What scenario could I see Clinton challenge President Obama WITHOUT damaging him, her, or the party?
a. President Obama has always maintained he would rather be a good 1-term president than a mediocre 2-term president (a jibe to W).
b. He steps down “for the good of the country”; after all, he took too many blows from all directions to turn this country around to its right course. He made tough, tough decisions for us all, our kids, the elderly, the poor, orphans, widows, spotted owls, and for intergalactic global peace.
c. He endorses Clinton and says she will be a different style of leader but will always do the right thing. She runs as a more centrist candidate and scoops up a ton of moderate & independents, while keeping her liberal base -- her term as a NY Senator and Secretary of State have seasoned her as a leader both home and abroad.
d. Obama comes out as a humble, altruistic President. Hillary is given the acclaimed nomination by the establishment; even the NAACP will back her. And the Democratic Party remains intact.
e. Joe Bidan? Who’s he?