It's a total pipe dream, naturally, but it's irresistible blog fodder. Let's lay out the recipe. Start with an increasingly unpopular president, add in a scandal or two (or three), sprinkle in some armchair psychology about his mental state, toss in a dash of out-of-touch aloofness, mix with political impotence, and bake thoroughly. What do you have? A steaming bowl of disillusionment, with a side of panic:
The most popular national political figure in America today is one who was rejected by her own party three years ago: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Nearly two-thirds of Americans hold a favorable view of her and one-third are suffering a form of buyer’s remorse, saying the U.S. would be better off now if she had become president in 2008 instead of Barack Obama. The finding in the latest Bloomberg National Poll shows a higher level of wishful thinking about a Hillary Clinton presidency than when a similar question was asked in July 2010. Then, a quarter of Americans held such a view.
Pull quote of the day:
“Some of her appeal is that she is not Barack Obama,” said J. Ann Selzer, president of Des Moines, Iowa-based Selzer & Co., which conducted the Sept. 9-12 poll.
Yesterday, Hot Air highlighted some idle speculation from John Fund about high-level Democrats eventually reaching a consensus and privately urging Obama not to run for a second term. In light of this Bloomberg poll, perhaps Fund's musings merit a second look (zip ahead to the three minute mark):
You know who'd probably lead this hypothetical intervention? James Carville. Ok, time to wake up from this fantasy. President Obama will obviously be the Democratic nominee in 2012 for at least three reasons: (1) Team Obama's 2012 money and campaign infrastucture are largely already in place. The fundraising train has left the station; it's not turning back. (2) Does anyone believe this president's ego would permit him to stroll quietly into the sunset for the good of the party? No chance. (3) The optics. What are the odds the Identity Politics Party would allow its elders to tell the country's first black president that he's not good enough to run for re-election? Only a handful of president have ever chosen not to seek a second term (Polk, Hayes, Buchanan, LBJ...am I missing any?) Barack Obama will not join their ranks. Tell me where I'm wrong here.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography