President Obama’s never-ending popularity plummet coupled with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s rise in recent polls has given rise to questions on what the future might hold for Democratic presidential politics for the upcoming 2012 election cycle.
Now it is a bit early, and even far fetched to imagine that anyone except the incumbent President Obama will get the party nod and nomination when 2012 rolls around. However, given Obama’s dramatic decline in support among independents (those very voters who put him over the edge against John McCain in 2008), his seemingly endless ability to govern as an Chief Executive such as with the Gulf Oil Crisis, his massive spending and entitlement bills, the Chicago-style political ramming of unpopular legislation through Congress like Healthcare Reform, his wobbly and feeble foreign policy initiatives coupled with his disregard for the issues of his Leftist base voters are leading many commentators and analysts to explore the possibilities of a Democratic challenge to his presidency in 2012.
As Ben Domenech clearly writes on RedState.com this week, “There’s certainly space for a McGovernesque movement here — I think the important datapoint here is the activist left’s fundamental rejection by the White House, borne out in the San Francisco protests which united Tea Partiers and Code Pinkers. Obama has disappointed his base in so many areas, either by failing to keep his promises or by dragging his feet on things they view as moral imperatives — on health care, on Gitmo, on Afghanistan, on security policy, on DADT, and on any number of other policies. There will be ramifications for that disloyalty.” (http://www.redstate.com/ben_domenech/2010/06/17/could-hillary-return-in-2012/)
Clearly, there is a groundswell among those middle class white independent voters who thought Obama would govern as a 1990s Bill Clinton moderate, the far-left activist folks who see Obama’s neglect of the Gulf Oil Crisis as a betrayal of their precious planet and the many rank & file Democrats who worked so diligently to get him elected who now neither want his endorsement nor his flowery speeches at their campaign events. The youth, the engine behind Obama’s “Hope and Change” machine which led him to victory in 2008, is all but gone – have now returned to spending most of their time downloading free music on the web and watching Justin Bieber videos.
Granted, a number of dramatic scenarios would have to play out such as Hillary Clinton’s very possible resignation as Obama’s Secretary of State (a role which she has acted out cleverly as the good team player) after this year’s mid-term elections, the unlikely event of rank & file Democrats asking the President not to run for a second term or the narcissistic, criticism-sensitive Commander in Chief “pulling an LBJ” and not seeking a second term as President sparing him the embarrassment of a humiliating defeat by the Republicans he worked so hard to demonize.
The trump card in all of this lies in the possibility of President Obama asking Hillary Clinton to be his cool-headed Vice Presidential running mate, replacing the fumbling, clownish VP Joe Biden. Such a move might give the Obama presidency the much needed “shot in the arm” it needs to win back disaffected and angry Independent voters. This would also give Hillary the presence and platform she would need to win her cherished and long sought-after presidency in 2016.
In any case, there should be no surprise if the Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton “drama saga” continues evolve in the pivotal presidental election year of 2012.