According to a CNN poll conducted in October, approximately 80% of Democrats say Barack Obama should be their party's presidential nominee in 2012, a higher level of support than Bill Clinton received in the runup to the 1996 elections. And though the fundamentals of the 2012 campaign are encouraging for the Republican Party, Obama leads all GOP candidates in the polls, his margin varying from 1.4% against Mitt Romney to 15% against Michele Bachmann.
For Democratic pollsters and professional trolls Douglas Schoen and Patrick Caddell these facts lead to a simple and ineluctable conclusion, which somehow the president failed to heed the first time they proposed it: Obama must step aside in favor of letting Hillary Clinton and a merry band of bipartisan unicorns save the country…
When Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson accepted the reality that they could not effectively govern the nation if they sought re-election to the White House, both men took the moral high ground and decided against running for a new term as president. President Obama is facing a similar reality — and he must reach the same conclusion.
He should abandon his candidacy for re-election in favor of a clear alternative, one capable not only of saving the Democratic Party, but more important, of governing effectively and in a way that preserves the most important of the president's accomplishments. He should step aside for the one candidate who would become, by acclamation, the nominee of the Democratic Party: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Now, now. I know this sounds like crazytalk, since it's not clear if there any major public policies on which Obama and Clinton disagree, nor is there any reason to think Republicans will abandon their beliefs in the absence of a President Obama, but Schoen and Caddell do offer us some historical analogies to work with.
Who, for example, could forget the administration of President Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic Party's standard bearer after Truman's exit from electoral politic? And we — and by we, I mean people who have never picked up a history book — will forever be grateful for how President Hubert Humphrey pulled our boys out of 'Nam with grace and dignity.
And if a Clinton nomination can bend the space-time continuum so as to make such an electoral strategy work in the past, perhaps Republicans will "come to the table and negotiate," because…magic. Let's just go with magic.
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Tags: Barack Obama, Douglas Schoen, Hillary Clinton, Hubert Humphrey, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Patrick Caddell, Polls, Republicans, Wall Street Journal