Just a couple of weeks ago, Barack Obama boasted that were it not for that pesky Constitution, the vestigial legacy of a bunch of dead white patriarchal slaveowners, that he would easily win a third term.
The Clinton camp isn’t so sure that being looked at as a third Obama term is a great selling point. For instance:
Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, said that she “is proud of what was accomplished, both as President Obama’s partner on critical issues of national security, and on the progress made on the domestic front” and that “a campaign would be about laying out her own vision for tackling our toughest challenges.”
But seeking a “third Obama term,” as some put it in the shorthand of political operatives, is not a simple matter for Mrs. Clinton. She can take little credit for the administration’s signature domestic accomplishments, like the Affordable Care Act, and she has scant leeway to disavow what Republicans portray as Mr. Obama’s misguided foreign-policy moves in places like Iran, Israel and Russia.
In fact, it is beginning to look like that Obama will be a combination millstone-about-the-neck of and tin-can-tied-to-the-tail of Hillary Clinton.
There’s a nugget buried deep within the new NBC-Wall Street Journal national poll that speaks to the challenge for Hillary Rodham Clinton as she tries to follow President Obama into office next November.
Just 30 percent of people polled said that the next president “should take an approach similar to that of Barack Obama” while two thirds preferred a “different” approach than the one of the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
It will be interesting to see how Clinton attempts to navigate the Scylla of her party’s left wing striving to preserve Obama’s legacy in a positive way and the Charybdis of an electorate impatient for change.
More important, it is difficult to see how Clinton differentiates herself from he boss on the critical policy decisions of his first term. She oversaw the disastrous Arab Spring. It was Clinton who nominated a man for famous for getting roof-top blow jobs (no this was not Bill Clinton) than his diplomacy chops to negotiate a SOFA with Iraq. It was Clinton who gave Vladimir Putin free rein in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. It was Clinton who oversaw the founding and rise of ISIS.
This linkage is not lost on the public:
Hillary Clinton’s favorability rating parallels Obama’s and she had nearly become him.