Should Obama run for re-election?

Steven Chapman, editorial writer for the Chicago Tribune, calls upon President Obama not to run for re-election, to make way instead for a candidate associated with toughness and prosperity, namely, iHillary Clinton:

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.” Democratic consultant James Carville had one word of advice for Obama: “Panic.”

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? . . . .

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.

via Steve Chapman: Why Obama should withdraw – chicagotribune.com.

Democrats, would you just as soon President Obama didn’t run?  Republicans, would you rather he didn’t run?  Independents?

And isn’t it true that despite his low popularity ratings and the tanking economy that polls have him  STILL beating Perry, Romney, and any other of the Republican candidates?  How do you account for that?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Spaulding

    I would like to see the DNC throw Obama under the bus for someone else (Not Hillary though, someone with gubernatorial experience)

    The reason why he is beating out all the republican candidates in the polls is combination of factors. The media smear campaign against many of the candidates. Also they are either un-electable (Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann) that will turn the moderates and independents off, or RINOS to varying degrees. The Republicans need to find an electable classic small government fiscally conservative candidate in order to win this time around.

  • Spaulding

    I would like to see the DNC throw Obama under the bus for someone else (Not Hillary though, someone with gubernatorial experience)

    The reason why he is beating out all the republican candidates in the polls is combination of factors. The media smear campaign against many of the candidates. Also they are either un-electable (Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann) that will turn the moderates and independents off, or RINOS to varying degrees. The Republicans need to find an electable classic small government fiscally conservative candidate in order to win this time around.

  • helen

    And isn’t it true that despite his low popularity ratings and the tanking economy that polls have him STILL beating Perry, Romney, and any other of the Republican candidates? How do you account for that?

    1. Some people won’t vote Republican, no matter what.

    2. A good many of us have begun to realize that “our” Republican party
    doesn’t give a tinker’s dam about most of us.

    3. 1% may have all the money, but they can’t buy all the votes.

  • helen

    And isn’t it true that despite his low popularity ratings and the tanking economy that polls have him STILL beating Perry, Romney, and any other of the Republican candidates? How do you account for that?

    1. Some people won’t vote Republican, no matter what.

    2. A good many of us have begun to realize that “our” Republican party
    doesn’t give a tinker’s dam about most of us.

    3. 1% may have all the money, but they can’t buy all the votes.

  • Carl Vehse

    There are Democrats and “moderates” who would still vote for Barry Soetero even if he were to rape a young boy on the steps of the Capitol in broad daylight with the media present. And the media would still claim Barry’s actions are as irrelevant as his birth certificate, or, for another candidate, as a dead White House official in Fort Marcy park and his office purged before the cops arrive, or the disappearance and later reappearance of 700 missing confidential FBI files.

  • Carl Vehse

    There are Democrats and “moderates” who would still vote for Barry Soetero even if he were to rape a young boy on the steps of the Capitol in broad daylight with the media present. And the media would still claim Barry’s actions are as irrelevant as his birth certificate, or, for another candidate, as a dead White House official in Fort Marcy park and his office purged before the cops arrive, or the disappearance and later reappearance of 700 missing confidential FBI files.

  • Jonathan

    I said this the other day. I don’t believe that he cannot not run. Mr. Obama is a true believer in the liberal policies he has brought to bear. To bow out is to admit that his ideology and policies have failed, and not just that they haven’t had enough time to work. I think he will hold on to hope that he is re-elected if for no other reason than that the electorate is unconvinced that the other guy can do any better, and might just risk taking us down that much faster–you know, the old canard about not changing horses mid-race, and so on. So I bet his “Hope” theme from ’08 is going to continue this time.

  • Jonathan

    I said this the other day. I don’t believe that he cannot not run. Mr. Obama is a true believer in the liberal policies he has brought to bear. To bow out is to admit that his ideology and policies have failed, and not just that they haven’t had enough time to work. I think he will hold on to hope that he is re-elected if for no other reason than that the electorate is unconvinced that the other guy can do any better, and might just risk taking us down that much faster–you know, the old canard about not changing horses mid-race, and so on. So I bet his “Hope” theme from ’08 is going to continue this time.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Why does Obama lead in these polls? Incumbency. At this point in 1979 Carter (with similar approval ratings) had a large lead in polls over Reagan. Once a Republican nominee is actually named, then it isn’t “hypothetical” anymore and voters will have an actual choice presented to them. Polls at this point aren’t all that helpful because they aren’t particularly related to reality. The calculus in the Republican nomination race will change after Iowa, then it will change after New Hampshire, and so on. Everything now is hypothetical. Once actual contests are held, the picture begins to clear.
    Carl @ 3 – really? Did you have to go there?

  • Steve Billingsley

    Why does Obama lead in these polls? Incumbency. At this point in 1979 Carter (with similar approval ratings) had a large lead in polls over Reagan. Once a Republican nominee is actually named, then it isn’t “hypothetical” anymore and voters will have an actual choice presented to them. Polls at this point aren’t all that helpful because they aren’t particularly related to reality. The calculus in the Republican nomination race will change after Iowa, then it will change after New Hampshire, and so on. Everything now is hypothetical. Once actual contests are held, the picture begins to clear.
    Carl @ 3 – really? Did you have to go there?

  • Jon

    When I see @3′s comments, I can only think how meaningless the Lutheran religion must be. Brag about the theology all day; but if abiding in it for a lifetime produces @3, I say you can keep it.

  • Jon

    When I see @3′s comments, I can only think how meaningless the Lutheran religion must be. Brag about the theology all day; but if abiding in it for a lifetime produces @3, I say you can keep it.

  • Carl Vehse

    Contrary to the snarky spittle of Steve and Jon, my comment #3 is in line with the public, political, and media support given to Slick Willie and his spouse despite facts presented throughout their political careers. My comment also indicates the lowering of what the media and Democrats consider an acceptable Democrat candidate since LA Gov. Edwin Edwards noted in 1983: “The only way I can lose this election is if I’m caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy.”

  • Carl Vehse

    Contrary to the snarky spittle of Steve and Jon, my comment #3 is in line with the public, political, and media support given to Slick Willie and his spouse despite facts presented throughout their political careers. My comment also indicates the lowering of what the media and Democrats consider an acceptable Democrat candidate since LA Gov. Edwin Edwards noted in 1983: “The only way I can lose this election is if I’m caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy.”

  • http://jdueck.net Joel D.

    1% may have all the money, but they can’t buy all the votes.

    As long as only the candidates that are acceptable to them are the only ones that get funded and off the ground, they don’t need to buy your votes. That way, whoever you vote for, they win.

    By simply infusing political campaigns with cash, whether intentionally or not the 1% raises barriers to entry so high that you can’t even enter the race without garnering the support of some people whose main political agenda is writing special legal safeguards to their businesses into law. Votes become irrelevant at that point, because the only candidates are the ones who have passed some corporation’s smell test.

  • http://jdueck.net Joel D.

    1% may have all the money, but they can’t buy all the votes.

    As long as only the candidates that are acceptable to them are the only ones that get funded and off the ground, they don’t need to buy your votes. That way, whoever you vote for, they win.

    By simply infusing political campaigns with cash, whether intentionally or not the 1% raises barriers to entry so high that you can’t even enter the race without garnering the support of some people whose main political agenda is writing special legal safeguards to their businesses into law. Votes become irrelevant at that point, because the only candidates are the ones who have passed some corporation’s smell test.

  • John C

    Should Obama run? Of course he should. He’s just starting to get the hang of it.

  • John C

    Should Obama run? Of course he should. He’s just starting to get the hang of it.

  • Kirk

    Ok, I’m officially going to call it: Carl Vehse is not a real boy. He’s a practical joke, a caricature of a conservative. He’s the creation of someone who is not a Republican. He can’t be real. He’s too perfect.

  • Kirk

    Ok, I’m officially going to call it: Carl Vehse is not a real boy. He’s a practical joke, a caricature of a conservative. He’s the creation of someone who is not a Republican. He can’t be real. He’s too perfect.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Kirk
    +1

  • Steve Billingsley

    Kirk
    +1

  • DonS

    Obama will not bow out. He is already running, as has been obvious from his recent speeches, nothing more than thinly veiled campaign stump speeches.

    So, if the Democrats want a choice, they will have to run a contested primary. I don’t see that happening.

    As for the polls, they are pretty much meaningless until two months before the election, after both parties have their conventions and the pollsters have begun seriously screening for likely voters.

  • DonS

    Obama will not bow out. He is already running, as has been obvious from his recent speeches, nothing more than thinly veiled campaign stump speeches.

    So, if the Democrats want a choice, they will have to run a contested primary. I don’t see that happening.

    As for the polls, they are pretty much meaningless until two months before the election, after both parties have their conventions and the pollsters have begun seriously screening for likely voters.

  • trotk

    Kirk -

    Carl is a creation of tODD, who is attempting to prove that conservatives are vile idiots.

  • trotk

    Kirk -

    Carl is a creation of tODD, who is attempting to prove that conservatives are vile idiots.

  • Dust

    He is PREDESTINED not only to run, BUT to win, as per Dr. Veith’s “prophecy” a few weeks ago!

  • Dust

    He is PREDESTINED not only to run, BUT to win, as per Dr. Veith’s “prophecy” a few weeks ago!

  • MarkB

    When did Obama stop running for office?

  • MarkB

    When did Obama stop running for office?

  • Joe

    No Carl is real. Carl is not his real name, but there is a real person in there.

    Jon – Please don’t take a single person as indicative of the corpus of Lutheranism (don’t even take just one of the good ones).

    As for Obama running – he will run. An incumbent not running is an automatic defeat for the Dems unless they decide that they want to completely separate themselves from the Obama policies. But, doing that will kill their Senate and House candidates – so it won’t happen. In the long term the party will be better losing with Obama then running (and even winning) someone else.

  • Joe

    No Carl is real. Carl is not his real name, but there is a real person in there.

    Jon – Please don’t take a single person as indicative of the corpus of Lutheranism (don’t even take just one of the good ones).

    As for Obama running – he will run. An incumbent not running is an automatic defeat for the Dems unless they decide that they want to completely separate themselves from the Obama policies. But, doing that will kill their Senate and House candidates – so it won’t happen. In the long term the party will be better losing with Obama then running (and even winning) someone else.

  • http://Www.Toddstadler.com tODD

    I’m not 100% sure, but Steve’s comment (@5) appears to be one of the first times a “conservative” has actually bothered to call Carl on his fey antics on this blog. 

    Sorry if you don’t actually identify as a “conservative”, Steve. I may have confused you with one of too many Stevesque people that run around here. While I’m at it, would it kill you Jo(h)n-ish people to distinguish yourselves more?

    Anyhow, fie on your slander, Trotk (@13 or should I use your real name, Moammar al-Trotsky?)! Everyone knows that “Carl” is a program created by NewsBusters to spam it’s links onto various blogs. But something went terribly wrong, and the program went haywire (or should I say rogue), somehow developing a preference for Sarah Palin and rape jokes. It is rumored that this program was the basis for the Agent Smith character in the Matrix films.

  • http://Www.Toddstadler.com tODD

    I’m not 100% sure, but Steve’s comment (@5) appears to be one of the first times a “conservative” has actually bothered to call Carl on his fey antics on this blog. 

    Sorry if you don’t actually identify as a “conservative”, Steve. I may have confused you with one of too many Stevesque people that run around here. While I’m at it, would it kill you Jo(h)n-ish people to distinguish yourselves more?

    Anyhow, fie on your slander, Trotk (@13 or should I use your real name, Moammar al-Trotsky?)! Everyone knows that “Carl” is a program created by NewsBusters to spam it’s links onto various blogs. But something went terribly wrong, and the program went haywire (or should I say rogue), somehow developing a preference for Sarah Palin and rape jokes. It is rumored that this program was the basis for the Agent Smith character in the Matrix films.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    “And isn’t it true that despite his low popularity ratings and the tanking economy that polls have him STILL beating Perry, Romney, and any other of the Republican candidates? How do you account for that?”

    Lots of ignorant, leftist utopians who don’t know anything about economics or history.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    “And isn’t it true that despite his low popularity ratings and the tanking economy that polls have him STILL beating Perry, Romney, and any other of the Republican candidates? How do you account for that?”

    Lots of ignorant, leftist utopians who don’t know anything about economics or history.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    What’s all this talk about Obama, anyway?

    To hear Democrats talk one would think that George W. Bush is still calling the shots.

    I think we should vote out George W., and really give the Vacationer in Chief a shot at spending some REAL money. :D

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    What’s all this talk about Obama, anyway?

    To hear Democrats talk one would think that George W. Bush is still calling the shots.

    I think we should vote out George W., and really give the Vacationer in Chief a shot at spending some REAL money. :D

  • Steve Billingsley

    Todd @17
    Yes, I am politically conservative. Just for clarity’s sake.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Todd @17
    Yes, I am politically conservative. Just for clarity’s sake.

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD@17: False. Numerous conservative regulars on this blog have called out Carl. Or ignored him. I don’t know that I would classify myself as a conservative, but insofar as I do, I have certainly criticized Carl’s style (no substance to critique, obviously). Or ignored him.

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD@17: False. Numerous conservative regulars on this blog have called out Carl. Or ignored him. I don’t know that I would classify myself as a conservative, but insofar as I do, I have certainly criticized Carl’s style (no substance to critique, obviously). Or ignored him.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    Democrats will renominate Obama and he will probably win. They depend on strong black turnout. If you jettison Obama you’ve just demoralized half the Democratic Party.

    For Obama the task of winning isn’t too difficult as long as the economy doesn’t collapse. He did it in 2008 with the media’s help. His personal favorability is near 50%. The media will be helping him again and the Republicans will basically be running on politics only slightly less stale than Obama’s Great Society redux.

    The only question to me is whether the Global Economy collapses before or after the election. If we hit 20-30% unemployment before the election I think Obama will lose (along with the Republican).

    I prefer Obama get re-elected so that a Hoover situation can occur where the next President isn’t stained by the total collapse of the economy and Obama takes all the blame discrediting bureaucratic socialism.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    Democrats will renominate Obama and he will probably win. They depend on strong black turnout. If you jettison Obama you’ve just demoralized half the Democratic Party.

    For Obama the task of winning isn’t too difficult as long as the economy doesn’t collapse. He did it in 2008 with the media’s help. His personal favorability is near 50%. The media will be helping him again and the Republicans will basically be running on politics only slightly less stale than Obama’s Great Society redux.

    The only question to me is whether the Global Economy collapses before or after the election. If we hit 20-30% unemployment before the election I think Obama will lose (along with the Republican).

    I prefer Obama get re-elected so that a Hoover situation can occur where the next President isn’t stained by the total collapse of the economy and Obama takes all the blame discrediting bureaucratic socialism.

  • nondescript stevesque type person

    Wow! Barely a peep about Jon’s ridiculous assertion @ post 6, but Conservatives are blasted for not calling out Carl? How does that work?

  • nondescript stevesque type person

    Wow! Barely a peep about Jon’s ridiculous assertion @ post 6, but Conservatives are blasted for not calling out Carl? How does that work?

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @17 I usually ignore him.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @17 I usually ignore him.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@21), feel free to back up your assertion, though no, I didn’t have you in mind when I said that (nor do I typically think of you as “conservative” inasmuch as the term is used today — thus my use of scare quotes).

    That said, it is impossible to distinguish between “ignored him” and “let it slide” or “tacitly approved”. I’ve seen how most “liberal” comments on this blog — even the reasonable ones — will generate a response, so I continue to find it odd how, this post notwithstanding, so much of Carl’s sputum goes unremarked-upon by those who, in theory, hold political positions similar to his (if not exactly his enjoyment of a high-quality rape reference).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@21), feel free to back up your assertion, though no, I didn’t have you in mind when I said that (nor do I typically think of you as “conservative” inasmuch as the term is used today — thus my use of scare quotes).

    That said, it is impossible to distinguish between “ignored him” and “let it slide” or “tacitly approved”. I’ve seen how most “liberal” comments on this blog — even the reasonable ones — will generate a response, so I continue to find it odd how, this post notwithstanding, so much of Carl’s sputum goes unremarked-upon by those who, in theory, hold political positions similar to his (if not exactly his enjoyment of a high-quality rape reference).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    And as for the comment from the Stevesque person (@23), I actually was going to reply to Jon’s comment (@6) before life intervened (until now). Mainly because it’s extremely poor logic, but also because, if that’s the “Jon” who sometimes also seems to post as “Jonathan” (not to be confused with the apparently different Jonathan @4 — seriously, you guys, differentiate yourselves), then he tends towards the liberal side, and I might as well follow my own suggestion. So …

    Jon (@6), seriously? “When I see @3′s comments, I can only think how meaningless the Lutheran religion must be”? What kind of pathetic inference is that? What, exactly, is “Lutheran” about Carl’s comments? Can you truly not distinguish between an ideology and the thoughts of someone (nominally) holding to an ideology? With stellar logic like that, you might as well blame America for being “meaningless”, given that Carl is an American, as well. Blame science for being “meaningless”, given that Carl is a scientist.

    I mean, seriously, how is that not just a pot-shot at Lutheranism from you, not because it in any way involves Lutheranism, but because, what, you just wanted to take the pot-shot? Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t you used to be a Lutheran, also? And, based on what I’ve seen you write lately, aren’t you now a Catholic? Should we therefore blame the Catholic church for having exceedingly poor logic, based on your comment here?

    Come on.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    And as for the comment from the Stevesque person (@23), I actually was going to reply to Jon’s comment (@6) before life intervened (until now). Mainly because it’s extremely poor logic, but also because, if that’s the “Jon” who sometimes also seems to post as “Jonathan” (not to be confused with the apparently different Jonathan @4 — seriously, you guys, differentiate yourselves), then he tends towards the liberal side, and I might as well follow my own suggestion. So …

    Jon (@6), seriously? “When I see @3′s comments, I can only think how meaningless the Lutheran religion must be”? What kind of pathetic inference is that? What, exactly, is “Lutheran” about Carl’s comments? Can you truly not distinguish between an ideology and the thoughts of someone (nominally) holding to an ideology? With stellar logic like that, you might as well blame America for being “meaningless”, given that Carl is an American, as well. Blame science for being “meaningless”, given that Carl is a scientist.

    I mean, seriously, how is that not just a pot-shot at Lutheranism from you, not because it in any way involves Lutheranism, but because, what, you just wanted to take the pot-shot? Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t you used to be a Lutheran, also? And, based on what I’ve seen you write lately, aren’t you now a Catholic? Should we therefore blame the Catholic church for having exceedingly poor logic, based on your comment here?

    Come on.

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