Tuesday, August 10, 2010
It’s no secret President Obama is tanking in the polls. Democratic and liberal pundits are feverishly searching for a scapegoat. After all, America’s first black president can’t be the reason for his reversal of fortunes because everyone is told knows Mr. Obama walks on water, cures the sick, and even plays a respectable game of hoops when the First Lady is off lallygagging in Spain.
The most likely victim the left-leaning punditry is prepared to throw under the bus is gaffe-prone Vice President Joe Biden. So the focus of speculation now centers around Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to replace him on the 2012 Democratic ticket.
Writing at Politico last week, former Virginia Gov. Doug Wilder, his state’s first black governor, ignited the controversy. Mr. Wilder argued that Mr. Biden’s tenure has been undistinguished and full of “too many YouTube moments.” He argued that Mr. Biden “has continued to undermine what little confidence the public may have had in him.”
Mr. Wilder argued that Hillary Clinton has excelled in her role. “Clinton has been nothing but a team player who has earned good marks since being asked to serve as secretary of state.” Having Mrs. Clinton join the 2012 ticket, he said, would revive the Democratic Party and reestablish the party’s working-class voters who found her appealing during the 2012 primaries against Mr. Obama.
Democratic pundits pounced on Mr. Wilder’s comments and expressed near-universal approval. On his syndicated MSNBC show, Tweety assembled a panel to discuss the Wilder intervention who included Howard Fineman of Newsweek, a longtime Hillary watcher and Obama supporter, said Mrs. Clinton would accept a place on the 2012 ticket “in a second.” John Heilemann, a reporter New York magazine, said the major obstacle would be to “figure out a way for Biden to slide aside happily” and suggested that Mr. Biden replace Mrs. Clinton as Secretary of State.
Mr. Heilemann outlined why President Obama just might want to have a steadier hand at his side for his re-election campaign: “The Republican attack on Obama is going to revolve around him being ‘too liberal,’ but also ‘too incompetent.’ They’re going to say, ‘Look, you hired this guy. He was too young for this job. He didn’t know what he was doing. He didn’t have the experience, and look what’s happened.'”
If this sounds familiar, it should. In the 2008 Democratic campaign Mrs. Clinton ran the now infamous TV commercial asking worried voters who they wanted in the White House when a 3AM national crisis call came in.
Assuming President Obama (with Hillary by his side) is reelected in 2012, it’s an easy stepping-stone for Mrs. Clinton, who would still be a relatively young woman of 69, to mount her own, successful bid for president in 2016.