Robert Reich–claiming “no inside information”–spells why he believes/recommends that Hillary Clinton and Joe “Boom-boom” Biden should trade places:
Why do I say this? Because Obama needs to stir the passions and enthusiasms of a Democratic base that’s been disillusioned with his cave-ins to regressive Republicans. Hillary Clinton on the ticket can do that.
Moreover, the economy won’t be in superb shape in the months leading up to Election Day. Indeed, if the European debt crisis grows worse and if China’s economy continues to slow, there’s a better than even chance we’ll be back in a recession. Clinton would help deflect attention from the bad economy and put it on foreign policy, where she and Obama have shined.
The deal would also make Clinton the obvious Democratic presidential candidate in 2016. . .
According to the latest Gallup poll, the duo are this year’s most admired man and woman . . . Obama-Clinton in 2012 is a natural.
Reich could not be more wrong. If Hillary has any ambitions to be president, she ought to do it in ’12 and do it as an Independent.
Why do I say this?
I know the conventional wisdom holds that no Democrat would dare to run against Obama and risk a deep fracturing of the party. Conventional wisdom, however, is hogwash in the face of voter discontent and distrust of both parties and the D.C. establishment. If ever the time was right for a strong candidate — from the left, not the right — to strike out as an Independent with a good chance of winning, it’s this election year, and Hillary Clinton is precisely the candidate to do it.
Independents ran to Obama in ’08, and they’re running away from him as fast as they can in ’12, but not necessarily toward the GOP, whose current field of candidates seems like 8 tilting vials of nitro-glycerin, just waiting to fall. Offer them a candidate they can associate with a era of “peace and prosperity” — one who many of them happen to like and think got a raw deal in 2008 — and they will careen toward her like seagulls toward dropped bread.
Hillary will pull all the disgruntled PUMA (Party Unity My A$$) voters who in ’08 were told “you don’t have to fall in love, just fall in line” and are still rinsing the bad taste out of their mouth from that primary; she’ll pull all of the Democrats who are currently, quietly, wishing Obama would just go away. And while Obama supposedly enjoys an approval rating of about 85% within the African American community, it’s a decent bet that those who liked her before they ever thought of Obama could be persuaded to like her again. Hillary, after all, feels no ways tired.
A candidate from the right could never do it. Between GOP/Conservative in-fighting, the purge-and-purity brigade and the need of some to “teach a lesson” with their vote — and the predictable broadsides that will be launched against such a candidate by the Democrat-favoring press — the best a conservative third-party candidate could hope to do is “make a point.” The Democrats and far left will all still vote for Obama, and the independents will either run scattershot or sit out the election altogether. Hello, Mr. Perot.
But Hillary Clinton — boldly proclaiming that “the two-party system is broken” to a nation that pretty much agrees with that assessment, and offering the tantalizing suggestion that the best way to work with a congress so immobilized by partisan concerns is to bring in a No-Party President — could seize the moment and make it her own.
Reich is all wrong. He is thinking like a pre-Obama strategist when the nation desperately wants to bring on a post-Obama program that will be anything-but-more-of-the-same. A GOP president will guarantee nothing-but more of the same, with a bonus dose of the Bushian-high-drama-hysterics of the press and Democrats that none of us are yet ready to go through again.
In the face of all of that, an Independent President Hillary Clinton — bearing “Artillery Hillary” bona fides for the security-conscious, “baby steps to health care” wisdom for the Obamacare repealers, and “it’s the economy, stupid” focus for the out-of-work — will seem like more than just a breath of fresh air. She’ll seem like the answer to a prayer.
And for some she may well be. Not my prayer, of course, but for some, sure.
Naturally, Hillary Clinton will not get the pro-lifers, nor the staunch conservatives, nor anyone who remembers not liking “we’re going to take some things away from you on behalf of the common good”.
But I’ve had more than one Republican tell me that they would have preferred Hillary Clinton to Obama, and frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to learn that some of them, disgusted with their own party, or unwilling to deal with “more of the same” would go for an “Indy Hillary” at this point.
And honestly, if I am thinking of this, I’m quite sure Hillary’s people are, too!
Ed Morrissey has news suggesting that going rogue may be all the rage, this time out.
And Zombie says Obama will still be president in 2013.