Free Markets, Free People

Obama’s hometown newspaper urges him to not to run again

Steve Chapman, a member of the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board, has penned an article which can only be described as a nice way to say to Obama, “hey, do us a favor and let someone else take the reins before you totally screw up Democrats chances of ever getting the White House for decades”.

But there is good news for the president. 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.

What is remarkable about this is it is finally being said out loud, and not just whispered in conversations among Democrats.  It is starting to emerge as a mainstream idea, Chapman among the first to put it in writing.  Obama has become a political liability and most of the rational on the left realize that.   All the hype has deflated and all the glitter fallen off.  This, it is increasingly apparent, is a failed presidency.

Oh, certainly, the economic circumstances haven’t helped, but neither has the Obama administration.  In misstep after misstep they’ve compounded the problem.  And, of course, as I’ve been saying for quite some time, Obama’s real problem this election cycle isn’t that he doesn’t have a record to examine.  Instead his problem is he does have a record, for the first time, to examine, and it is not a good one.

So Chapman, like the chief of staff who tries to convince his incompetent boss its time to step down, comes up with a list of excuses with a positive spin that make it sound like a good idea:

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."
Presidential encores are generally a bog of frustration, exhaustion and embarrassment.

They are famous for lowest moments rather than finest hours. Richard Nixon was forced to resign in disgrace, Reagan had the Iran-Contra scandal, and Bill Clinton made the unfortunate acquaintance of Monica Lewinsky.

Administration officials get weary after four years and leave in droves. The junior varsity has to be put into service. New ideas are hard to come by.

And besides – Hillary is ready:

Besides avoiding this indignity, Obama might do his party a big favor. In hard times, voters have a powerful urge to punish incumbents. He could slake this thirst by stepping aside and taking the blame. Then someone less reviled could replace him at the top of the ticket.

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.

That’s all true to a point, unless the current foreign policy, like everything else this administration, collapses in the interim.  And it is fraying around the edges fairly badly.  Arab spring has turned the clock in the Middle East back 40 years, Turkey, a NATO member is rattling its saber at Israel and there seems to be a very good chance that it may go the Islamist extremist route as well. 

However, again, this is one of those read between the lines columns that tries, in a nice way, to say “you’re a loser, step aside”.  It broadly hints that Obama just isn’t up to the job.   It makes the point that there are a growing number on the left who feel that keeping the White House is much more important than who it is actually occupying the Oval Office.  Chapman is saying “take one for the team, please” or it is becoming increasingly clear that the team may lose.

I wonder if Obama will actually listen?


Twitter: @McQandO

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16 Responses to Obama’s hometown newspaper urges him to not to run again

  • Champman is just agitating for someone better at implementing the same awful policies.  Sorry, but Obama’s problem is not that he’s not up to the job.  The problem is that his solutions suck.  Putting a different person in there to implement more bad decisions isn’t going to improve anything.

    I also love the “Bill Clinton made the unfortunate acquaintance of Monica Lewinsky” slant.  Yeah, THAT’S what happened.

  • I always felt this was a suicide run. 

    And if he does step aside, the Republicans won’t be a shoe in unless they manage the underlying campaign message very well, which they won’t.  They’ll let the Democrats control the debate. 

  • America Gonif!  The New Yorker calls Obama, “The First Jewish President”

  • When you said his hometown paper, I thought you meant the Kenyan Daily News.
    Even so, that’s a funny thing to see them say out loud.  No way he’ll listen to it and resign, but if more democrats start saying it I suppose he could see a challenger which would be a lot of fun to watch.

  • How do you get a narcissist to step aside from the most powerful position in the world?
    @ the wolf:  Policy differences aside, one has to be a good leader to get things done.  One may have the best ideas in the world but if you can’t convince people to go along then you’ll go nowhere and your ideas will die.  Love or hate Bill Clinton, he was one helluva politician.  People may be projecting his success onto his wife but she seems to be cut from the same cloth as him.
    In any case, buyer’s remorse is getting out into the open.

    • Clinton was a much better politician than Obama (damning with faint praise), but even Clinton had dwindling popularity numbers before he backed away from a severe leftist agenda.  I maintain that where Chapman goes wrong is that he thinks Obama is the problem.  A better politician can’t make bad legislation work.  He may be better at getting it through, but the economy isn’t going to react any better.

    • promote him up again…president obama, the un needs your leadership!

  • So the ChiTrib is now racist.

    Just sayin’….

  • It is interesting that the Democrats really seem to think Bill Clinton had something to do with the “booming ’90s”, and that this would somehow transfer to his wife. They really seem to have a belief in some god-king saving them.

  • Right before the election the GOP needs to come out with ad showing Pelosi and a bunch of her wonderful charm, “saying and if you elect Barry you get this also.”

  • I’m on record back to 2008 that 50:50 Obama will find some way to back out of the presidency before the next election.

    Obama is not a happy camper. He has never experienced massive failure. He has always believed that he was transformational world figure. It’s all coming down around him and he has no resources to deal with it.

  • Of course a primary challenge could be a prop for the benefit of Obama.

    Obama will be allowed to be ‘Obama the candidate’ in a relatively safe environment.  Who’s going to challenge him on the budget?  His opponents?  The reporters?  

    Not only can they create a relatively safe campaign environment where Obama’s Obamaness can shine through, but they can also frame the debate on key issues for the public in a way thats easier for Obama when he faces the Republicans. 

    • But the option considered isn’t a primary challenger, but Obama refusing to run again a la LBJ 1968, in which case someone, almost certainly Hillary, can run against the Republican candidate with a semi-clean slate.

      I don’t see Obama emerging from his current tailspin. He had his last chance with the big Joint Session speech and he squandered it on another stimulus. Now he’s doubled-down with silly tax proposals and more class warfare.

      It’s just going to keep getting worse. And there will be some crisis — the collapse of the EU, a real Iranian bomb, another Islamic attack that involves Israel, or a run on US banks, god knows — that tests Obama further and finds him wanting.

      Now I think it’s 2:1 that Obama won’t be running in 2012.

      • There’s been several crisis already that you barely hear a peep about.  Several flooding events in the South come to mind.

        • Events only languish on the tube or on the front page of the NYT if George Bush has screwed up again.

  • There are plenty of people who still think Obama is doing a good job.  Believe me, I work with these morons with PHDs and masters degrees.  Of course, I am in Kalifornia, what else could I expect?