Kristol Offers Advice to Obama

Bill Kristol, who has been more wrong about more things that probably any other figure in American politics, has some advice for President Obama. He thinks Vice President Joe Biden should be dumped and replaced with Hillary Clinton. And he explains why that would be good for him to do:

For our part, we’d like to see a decisive triumph for Romney and his running mate over two formidable representatives of contemporary liberalism, rather than a discounted victory over a flawed ticket with only one strong candidate. So we sincerely suggest to President Obama: Dump Joe Biden.

We’re sure the thought has occurred to the president. He knows his undisciplined vice president did him no service by popping off about same-sex marriage on Meet the Press, thereby forcing Obama to engage the issue prematurely. Instead of making his announcement of his evolution in a well-prepared speech for which the groundwork had been laid, the president arranged a rushed interview in which he rather inarticulately expressed his personal view in a way that persuaded no one who wasn’t already convinced. This wasn’t good for him…

…Who should replace Biden? Everyone knows the answer. Hillary Clinton received nearly 18 million votes in the race for the 2008 Democratic nomination. Her rating in a Washington Post survey a couple of weeks ago was 65 percent favorable, 27 percent unfavorable. Biden hurts Obama. She would help him.

What’s more, she’d help with precisely the undecided voters Obama needs in November. Many of them are white, working- and middle-class Americans who supported her in the 2008 primaries. They overcame their disappointment at Clinton’s defeat to vote for Obama that November. But many became disillusioned and voted Republican in 2010, producing that year’s GOP landslide. Barack Obama needs to win back as many of them as possible in 2012. They voted for Hillary Clinton once. Surely they’d be more likely to return to Obama if given the opportunity to vote for her again as part of the ticket.

Wouldn’t a Biden-Clinton switch be messy and embarrassing and chaotic? Not really. There aren’t many Biden loyalists around, after all, to cause much of a fuss. In fact, Biden’s chief of staff, Bruce Reed, is a Clinton loyalist who could help ensure a smooth coexistence during the slightly awkward months when Clinton would be the vice presidential nominee and Biden still the sitting vice president.

I actually think he’s right that this would provide a boost for the president’s reelection, though not a big one. But before the president or his advisers take it seriously, they should bear in mind that it was Kristol who first suggested Sarah Palin as McCain’s running mate. And that he’s been wrong about practically everything else for the last couple decades.

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