There is no ground swell among Democrats to dump Barack Obama as a candidate for re-election and substitute Hillary Clinton as the party’s candidate. But since some Democrats are worried about Obama’s re-election chances, Clinton’s name is being floated.
In a commentary Monday in The Wall Street Journal, Patrick H. Caddell and Douglas E. Schoen suggested that Obama should abandon his candidacy for re-election in favor of a clear “alternative, one capable not only of saving the Democratic Party, but more importantly, of governing effectively and in a way that preserves the most important of the president’s accomplishments.” They wrote Hillary is the only leader capable of uniting the country around a bipartisan economic and foreign policy.
Who are these commentators? Caddell served as a pollster for President Jimmy Carter. Schoen served as a pollster for President Bill Clinton and is author of “Hopelessly Divided: The New Crisis in American Politics and What It Means for 2012 and Beyond.” Both are Democrats.
Hillary has said she no longer has presidential ambitions. But there’s no doubt here that she would be a candidate if Obama stepped aside and the party wanted her.
The writers contend that Obama’s re-election mode of extreme partisanship “has effectively guaranteed that the remainder of his term will be marred by the resentment and division that have eroded our national identity, common purpose, and most of all, our economic growth.” They wrote that Presidents Harry Truman and L. B. Johnson did not seek another term because of the problems they would have in governing effectively. That’s their opinion. Other historians and citizens who lived in those eras would not agree completely with that assessment.
“Having unique experience in government as first lady, senator and now as secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton is more qualified than any other presidential candidate in recent memory, including her husband,” Caddell and Schoen wrote. They said they were writing as patriots and Democrats concerned about the fate of “our party and most of all, our country.”
Strange things happen in politics but we don’t think Obama will step aside in favor of Hillary. His ego and pride won’t permit it. Of note is that some people believe Hillary would have made a better president than Obama. She’s one tough politician, ambitious, experienced and skilled in the ways of government. She was way out front of Obama in governmental experience.
The unsuccessful attempt to curb spending by the so-called super committee of Congress is another example of how divided the parties are, with a president who isn’t helping matters by his strong partisan re-election rhetoric, the ship of state is dead in the water. We need a president who can govern and who cares more about the country than his re-election and his political party.