So here we have the first post on theordinarypolitical and we are looking into the future…way into the future. It is always foolish to try and predict events we can not foresee, yet we seem to do it all the time. Perhaps it comes from the thrill of being right (on the rare occasion that actually happens). That being said, we begin with commentary on the 2012 United States presidential election. As of today, we are still 755 days away from the contest on November 6, 2012, yet people are buzzing about what will happen. Today’s post will focus on the Democrats and their anticipated actions in 2012. Tomorrow will focus on the Republicans and the uncertainty that surrounds who will be the torch bearer for their party in the national contest.
Not even two years into office, there are growing questions surrounding the leadership of President Obama. While the economy still continues to lag, jobs continue to be lost and many Americans struggle to survive, his decisions as president are being questioned. These factors have combined to increase the skepticism of what will happen in 2012. Some even go as far as to question whether he stands a chance at reelection for a second term?
Now I will admit, back in the spring of 2008, I stubbornly stated that Hillary Clinton was a lock for the democratic nomination and that her likely opponent John McCain would be no challenge. Barack Obama, I predicted, would be lucky to get a spot on the ticket as her VP, but in all likelihood would receive a junior cabinet position. Yet here we are today, with President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton. What happened?
Well there was the disaster that eventually became the Clinton campaign. Many inside of Hillaryland (myself included) underestimated Obama’s ability to speak, raise money and inspire a nation. He rode a wave of “hope” into the white house, that had two thirds of the nation supporting it. But, as is the case with most inspirational campaigns, that kind of optimism is extremely difficult to maintain, especially with the mess that Obama inherited.
Some are now calling for a coupe d’etat of sorts, to put Clinton on the 2012 ticket as the VP candidate. There are even campaigns emerging to have Clinton replace Obama as the nominee for president (of course this campaign is not sponsored by Clinton). An October 6, 2010 article on ABC News by Sunlen Miller and Luis Martinez stated that all individuals involved (Obama, Clinton and VP Biden) unequivocally denied the rumors stating that everyone was happy with their respective rolls and performance and there was absolutely no talk of switching Clinton and Biden for 2012.
However, in politics, many rumors are unequivocally denied before they are confirmed as being true. In this case, I do believe it to be true though. Obama is not in serious trouble. While his poll numbers have slipped, the case is true for nearly every president nearing the middle of their term. The fact he maintained an approval rating above 50% for as long as he did is remarkable in itself.
In addition, there are relatively few, if any recent examples of sitting presidents dumping their existing VP’s and going on to win in the subsequent election. The most recent example would be that of Gerald Ford, who in 1976 put Bob Dole on his ticket, in place of VP Nelson Rockefeller. While this is not an ideal example, as the original Ford/Rockefeller ticket was never elected, the Ford/Dole ticket went down to defeat. FDR does provide an example of a successful VP swap, when he replaced his second in command Henry A. Wallace with Harry Truman. We all know the Roosevelt/Truman ticket went on to win of course, but it could be said Roosevelt could have won with a wet sock as his running mate.
So where does that leave the democrats in 2012? Unless there is some major catastrophe in the Obama administration that cripples their poll numbers to George W. Bush levels, it appears you can start purchasing your Obama/Biden 2012 bumper stickers!