Monday, August 8, 2011
By now, even the most ardent Obama supporters must admit the president is a flop.
This rings especially so for Hillary Clinton’s supporters, many of whom are still angry at the outcome of the 2008 Democratic primary.
At a luncheon in the members’ dining room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Saturday, many Hilary Clinton supporters bemoaned Obama’s growing list of failures. From not ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to his hands-off approach to the debt crisis. Someone said, “Hillary would have been a better president.”
“Every single person nodded, including the Republicans,” reported one observer.
As an early and former Obama supporter, I have to admit; this assessment is correct.
A 64-year-old African-American from the Bronx was complaining about Obama’s ineffectiveness in dealing with the implacable hostility of congressional Republicans when an 80-year-old lawyer chimed in about the president’s unwillingness to stand up to his opponents. “I want to see blood on the floor,” she said grimly.
A 61-year-old white woman at the table nodded. “He never understood about the ‘vast right-wing conspiracy,’” she said.
Looking as if she were about to cry, an 83-year-old Obama supporter shook her head. “I’m so disappointed in him,” she said. “It’s true: Hillary is tougher.”
During the last few days, the whispers have swelled to an angry chorus of frustration about Obama’s perceived weaknesses. Many Democrats are furious and heartbroken at how ineffectual he seemed in dealing with Republican opponents over the debt ceiling, and liberals are particularly incensed by what they see as his capitulation to conservatives on fundamental liberal principles.
In Connecticut, a businessman who raised money for Obama in 2008 said, “I’m beyond disgusted.” In New Jersey, a teacher reported that even her friends in the Obama administration are grievously disillusioned with his lack of leadership—and many have begun to whisper about a Democratic challenge for the 2012 presidential nomination. “I think people are furtively hoping that Hillary runs,” she said.
The son of a longtime Democratic congressman from Texas, a 73-year-old lawyer, is so enraged with Obama that he’s threatening not to vote for the 2012 Democratic ticket—the first time in his entire life that he’s contemplated such apostasy.
Among many of the 18 million Americans who supported Hillary Clinton in 2008, the reaction is simple and bitter: “We told you so.”
On Real Time With Bill Maher, the host said that as far as he was concerned, Obama might as well be a Republican, and added that he thought last week represented the tipping point in Obama’s presidency. Wondering if liberals have “buyer’s remorse” about Obama, Maher asked his panel whether Clinton would have been a better president.
“Yes,” replied astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium, adding that Clinton would have been “a more effective negotiator in the halls of Congress.”
“She knows how to deal with difficult men,” Maher agreed.
But Hillary Clinton is a seasoned politico. When asked why she plans to leave the State Department at the end of Obama’s first term, she innocuously said “I want to stay home and have lunch with family and friends.”
On the other hand, if Hillary Clinton is anything, she’s a patriot and if enough people called on her to challenge Obama in 2012, how could she not? After all, the ‘3 a.m. phone call’ came and no one in the Obama White House answered.