Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Hillary-A Nation Turns Its Lonely Eyes To You
With President Obama coming under attack from-of all people Al Gore, with the Fed now admitting the economy is hitting, what the president described, before hitting the golf links, as "headwinds", whilst 9.1% of Americans are out of work, with many, especially in the Black community who put so much faith in candidate Obama, for a long time, the Washington Post asks the key 2012 question.
Chris Cillizza at Washpo's The Fix states the obvious in respect to how, given the current economic circumstances, President Obama will deal with the Reagan/Carter question "are you better off than you were four years ago?" There are not many options really.
Obama can state that things would have been a lot worse if he hadn't been elected, which is of course debatable, but may not wash with those on food stamps. He could try and blame the Bush administration, but that shipped sailed in the 2010 elections, or he could find some statistics, which is always an option as 'there are lies, damn lies and statistics" which point to a nascent trending recovery which will be jeopardized "unless I am re-elected." Good luck with that.
What makes the Reagan question even more dangerous for President Obama's re-election chances is, that although the economy under Carter was indeed suffering a "malaise" and inflation was high, the unemployment rate, and feeling of economic malaise (as opposed to foreign policy malaise) was nowhere as bad as it is now-and we saw what happened to Carter's re-election chances.
Clearly, as Cillizza points out-unless, as happened with Reagan's re-election, there are clear and unmistakeable "morning in America" signs of economic recovery, Obama will most likely suffer the same fate as Carter did when the Reagan question is trotted out again.
A response to the Cillizza column pleads for Hillary Clinton to mount a challenge to the president.
"Hillary Clinton should resign from the BO administration and provide the country with an acceptable alternative to BO. We cannot afford another Obama term of unconscionable ineptitude."
This is of course not unprecedented, as it is exactly what Ted Kennedy did to Carter under similar economic conditions. Accusations of disloyalty would not be a problem as she has served in her post in an honorable (especially as she has handed in her notice) and supportive fashion (as has Huntsman, a GOP challenger from Obama's administration for example). She can offer a clear exposition of what she presented as an alternative management style in 2008, and what she would do differently going forwards.
The Republican contenders are busy differentiating themselves from each other as a major focus, whereas Clinton can disregard that aspect and mount a positive campaign, free of personal attacks and fully engaged with the matter at hand-America's economic plight. She would not be mounting a "vanity" campaign and if she did run on economics she would not be accused of running a 'sour grapes" vendetta.
There are no doubt millions of Democrats who would immediately jump to her side, the various Hillary PUMA bloggers, who are still very much extant, would jump for joy at the chance to crank up their support. The Los Angeles Times has already run an opinion piece supporting the concept "Why Hillary Clinton must run in 2012"
But most of all a Clinton challenge would give the American public an avenue to hear an economic alternative free from the Dem/Rep partisanship which automatically dismisses anything from the other side. If she ran, for the good of America, the Democrats and the administration would have to look deep inside themselves to see what they could do better-which would be better for everyone, no matter which party they support.
Linked as "Post of the day" at Prof. Jacobson's "Legal Insurrection"