I checked the Constitution, and he is under no compulsion to run for re-election. He can scrap the campaign, bag the fundraising calls and never watch another Republican debate as long as he’s willing to vacate the premises by Jan. 20, 2013.
That might be the sensible thing to do. It’s hard for a president to win a second term when unemployment is painfully high. If the economy were in full rebound mode, Obama might win anyway. But it isn’t, and it may fall into a second recession — in which case voters will decide his middle name is Hoover, not Hussein. Why not leave of his own volition instead of waiting to get the ax?
It’s not as though there is much enticement to stick around. Presidents who win re-election have generally found, wrote John Fortier and Norman Ornstein in their 2007 book, “Second-Term Blues,” that “their second terms did not measure up to their first.”
To be replaced, of course, with Hillary…
The ideal candidate would be a figure of stature and ability who can’t be blamed for the economy. That person should not be a member of Congress, since it has an even lower approval rating than the president’s.
It would also help to be conspicuously associated with prosperity. Given Obama’s reputation for being too quick to compromise, a reputation for toughness would be an asset.
As it happens, there is someone at hand who fits this description: Hillary Clinton. Her husband presided over a boom, she’s been busy deposing dictators instead of destroying jobs, and she’s never been accused of being a pushover.
As Ed Morrissey states, Obama deciding to throw the towel in of his own volition has always been a long shot, at best. After all, he’s been groomed for this position since that night in Bill Ayers’ living room in 1995, and has never been held to account for anything, other than his sudden abandonment of that weird, angry preacher after what, 20 years? Instead, seemingly credible journalists fawned over him, reporting everything from “tingles” to an almost Christ-like talent for “healing the world.”
Such acclaim, so freely proffered absent any effort to actually earn it, must be as addictive as heroin, one imagines.
However, when the Sunday hometown paper begins to smell the coffee, the prospect becomes a bit more, shall I say, mainstream?