You and I have witnessed the soaring number of voices, from both traditional to lefty Democrats, finally getting the nerve to express their grave concerns about not just Obama’s ability to win a second term but, even moreso, about Obama’s clear inability to do the job of the presidency. But it is nearly unheard-of that a major newspaper, particularly the newspaper of the president’s hometown, would call on a president to step aside and not seek a second term. But in Sunday’s Chicago Tribune, Steve Chapman has dared to explain “Why Obama should withdraw” — and furthermore — suggested that Hillary Clinton replace Obama as the Democratic candidate in 2012:
When Ronald Reagan ran for re-election in 1984, his slogan was “Morning in America.” For Barack Obama, it’s more like midnight in a coal mine.
The sputtering economy is about to stall out, unemployment is high, his jobs program may not pass, foreclosures are rampant and the poor guy can’t even sneak a cigarette.
His approval rating is at its lowest level ever. …[…]
The vultures are starting to circle. Former White House spokesman Bill Burton said that unless Obama can rally the Democratic base, which is disillusioned with him, “it’s going to be impossible for the president to win.” …
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.
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?
Someone said that when a man is smitten with a beautiful woman, he should remember that somebody somewhere is tired of her. Likewise, the most inspiring presidents get stale after years of constant overexposure.
In the event he wins, Obama could find himself with Republicans in control of both houses of Congress. Then he will long for the good old days of 2011. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner will bound out of bed each day eager to make his life miserable.
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. ….
Read the rest of “Why Obama should withdraw,” which includes the section on why Chapman recommends Clinton, a section I omitted from the above quoted material.
This is earth-shattering
I wonder if other newspapers will follow suit and back Chapman’s recommendations.
I fear for Hillary, and who wouldn’t. Obama has made such a mess of the economy that it will require all of Clinton’s brains, experience, finesse, and fortitude to just begin to fix the United States and rescue the country from the “midnight in a coal mine” to which Chapman compares the current state of affairs due to Obama’s ineptitude.
But I have NO fear that Hillary will summon all of her vast knowledge and experience to turn this Titanic of a nation away from the massive icebergs heading straight at it.
Now I know that all of you are QUITE cynical about the hopes for fixing our nation’s problems, and that most of us here are divided in the solutions we believe will help fix the country. However, I hold fast to my belief in Hillary’s amazing abilities and faith that she will focus first on the nation’s most immediate crises, particularly jobs. She’s got that solid Midwestern common sense.
For more feedback on Chapman’s op-ed, check out Memeorandum’s list of blog posts.