Hillary Clinton hasn’t stepped into the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries yet and there’s already buzz growing for the ultimate grrl power ticket: Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama.
“All due respect for President Obama and Vice President Biden, but that would truly be a dream team for America,” said former Clinton spokeswoman Karen Finney. “Both women are proven effective leaders who’ve raise children, so dealing with Congress would be a snap!” added Finney, also a former Democratic Party spokeswoman.
“More than anything else, this reflects the growing awareness that it is time for the glass ceiling of the last old boys club to be firmly shattered,” added Democratic strategist Chris Lehane.
It’s not just talk. Bumper stickers reading “2016-Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama,” and “Hillary-Michelle 2016 First First Lady Ticket For President” are popping up. Cafe Press said sales of the Hillary-Michelle bumper sticker saw a 60% increase from December to March, with the largest uptick in March.
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“I look forward to the day when a woman can run for the presidency without so much parody and fanfare,” said former Al Gore campaign manager Donna Brazile.
Democratic strategists say that Clinton is a lock to get into the race. Not only is she far ahead of Biden and others in polls, she still has a strong donor network from her 2008 campaign. Former advisor Terry McAuliffe recently told Secrets that she will make up her mind next year. President Obama has also talked Clinton up, choosing her as the only retiring Cabinet secretary to hold an outgoing “60 Minutes” interview with.
Recently, there has been some talk that Obama would be a good Illinois Senate candidate after the White House, much like Clinton, who ran for and won a Senate seat in New York. But teaming her with Clinton would create a political and fundraising force that would be impossible to beat on the Democratic side.
Pollster John Zogby, however, questions if the ticket would sell. “Hillary and Michelle are both very popular and accomplished, but this smacks of too much celebrity and is a tad too dynastic for American voters,” he said. “An interesting reality show, yes. A ticket, no.”
And if they did run and win, questions would turn to the husbands. Suggested Finney: “They could play golf and help support their wive’s agenda.”
In the early months of the election year, a polarizing president with a lackluster approval rating bided his time as the opposition party unraveled. Its nominating fight dissolved into chaos as the establishment front-runner collapsed, and an insurgent with a talent for galvanizing his party’s base surged, despite persistent fears about his electoral appeal beyond the party’s hardcore. A protracted primary fight ensued, with the insurgent and the party’s resistant establishment eviscerating each other for months; by the time it ran its course, a president who seemed imminently beatable was ahead by double digits. The story ends with that same president winning by an historic margin over a party that rejected its recent past in favor of a dangerously uncertain future.
This is a recounting of the 1972 election season. If it has the feel of a premonition, it’s because Republicans look dangerously on the verge of repeating the demolition derby that so weakened Democrats that year. Mitt Romney may be a better-constructed front-runner than Ed Muskie, but he is still a flawed contender whose candidacy seems at odds with his party’s mood and whose own half-answers have made his wealth seem shadowy and amoral. Newt Gingrich may be a far better-known quantity than the hapless George McGovern, but he still seems, like McGovern, more suited to the task of revolution than political persuasion. Republicans are, and should be, very worried.
Enter the last dream date that Republicans may have at their disposal. His name is Jeb Bush, and this time, there is a feasibility around the idea that seemed unthinkable months ago.
To be sure, the Jeb scenario will need more instability in order to flourish. The likeliest path involves Gingrich’s momentum carrying him through Florida; the February races in Arizona and Michigan dividing between Romney and Gingrich; Romney rebounding in March in moderate-leaning midwestern states such as Illinois and Wisconsin; Gingrich winning easily in the Deep South on Super Tuesday and Texas in early April, with Romney proving equally strong in New York and the rest of the Atlantic coastline, while states like Ohio and Indiana fail to resolve the split.
Imagine that California’s ultimate showdown leaves Gingrich with the slightest of edges, but with Romney remaining viable and in possession of a broader geographic base, far more internal support from GOP leadership, and a substantial chunk of delegates. To stop Gingrich, Romney might have no practical choice but to offer to throw his support to Bush, whose popularity would also implode Gingrich’s slim plurality.
Not one bit of it is implausible. Arguably, a deadlock is an entirely realistic outcome in a race where Romney’s institutional edges are considerable, but his vulnerabilities and Gingrich’s raw campaign skills are more than enough to offset that advantage. It is also all too likely that the result of a protracted bout would be two candidates so bruised that neither remains competitive with Obama. If so, there will be a sense of panic, and it is not hard to conceive that Romney could come under intense pressure to sacrifice himself to avert a November catastrophe.
The less probable outcome is that Jeb Bush would abandon a year of disclaimers to accept a draft in a brokered convention. But there are two reasons he might. The first is that an Obama landslide would devastate conservatism enough that it might be irreparable for a generation. One doesn’t have to subscribe to Gingrich’s Manichean rhetoric to concede that an Obama sweep would, for the first time in 76 years, institute government-centered, redistributionist economics as the country’s central governing philosophy. It would be, after all, the agenda that Obama and congressional Democrats had campaigned on, in contrast to the deliberately muted, ideologically vague platforms that elected Carter, Clinton, and Obama in 2008; or the growth-oriented, business friendly liberalism that JFK and LBJ embodied.
Second, Bush would have a pathway to victory in November. His brand of reform-oriented conservatism might actually be his party’s only pathway: Unlike Romney, whose leadership of Massachusetts produced one signature achievement — a hodgepodge of a health-care law that he likely wishes he could take back — Bush’s legacy is an issue that Republicans ought to own but are ignoring, education reform. He also turned Florida into a national laboratory for controlling health-care costs and reining in medical tort liability, both soft spots in Obama’s record.
At the same time, Bush has revealed a capacity for coalition-building that has eluded Gingrich. He is a hero of the conservative base who has had remarkable electoral appeal to Jewish and Hispanic voters. He combines support for a modified version of the DREAM Act with backing stronger border security — a middle ground that is both tough-minded and assimilationist — and happens to be entering his fourth decade of marriage to a Hispanic woman. It goes without saying that Bush gives Republicans the best shot of removing Florida from the Democratic column, and winning states with a strong Latino presence such as Arizona and Colorado.
The fact is that Jeb Bush bent Florida, a famously interest-group-ridden state, in a rightward direction; that’s an accomplishment Romney can’t begin to claim vis-à-vis Massachusetts. Bush is not just an authentic movement conservative, but a groundbreaker on an array of issues that drive votes, such as accountability for teachers and reining in the costs of private health insurance. While his record has blemishes that Democrats would exploit, from his stint in the Eighties lobbying for southern-Florida business interests to his ill-timed tenure at Lehman Brothers in 2007, this Bush is an adept, articulate campaigner who is unlikely to be tied in knots defending his history. Also, the statute of limitations seems to have expired on the ugliest sentiments around the last Bush presidency.
Jeb Bush should measure his reluctance against the risks looming for his party and, potentially, his country. The fact is that his party could be staring at an unavoidable disaster unless, in the interests of saving it, its best candidate comes out of retirement.
— Artur Davis served four terms in Congress representing Alabama’s 7th district.
FBI Witness Murdered Who Had Access & Was To Testify In Obama/Soetoro Passport FBI Investigation.
Another day, another creepy murder related in some way to Barack Obama. There is something about this guy that leads to unusual murders wherever his name arises.
The most recent unusual death involves the fatal shooting of a key witness in the passport file fraud investigation. If you recall, during the campaign it was discovered that Obama, Hillary and McCain’s passport files had been breached.
It was Obama’s that was reported first with the implication that Hillary had something to do with it. Then, sort of as an afterthought, it was reported that both Hillary’s and McCain’s files were also violated.
There has been some speculation that Hillary’s and McCain’s files were violated as a cover-up for the real focus of the breach, which was Obama’s passport file. Some people wonder what was removed from his file and if it was part of an effort to make sure no one found out about Obama’s shady past.
Like, when did he actually first get a US passport? What is on that passport? Like maybe his real name? His place of birth? His parentage? (If you think I exaggerate the importance of the birth certificate and other biological information, it has just been reported that Obama’s lawyer, Robert Bauer, was paid $688,000 this year to make sure no one sees any of it).
Anyway, the story is reported in the Washington Times:
A key witness in a federal probe into passport information stolen from the State Department was fatally shot in front of a District church, the Metropolitan Police Department said yesterday.
Lt. Quarles Harris Jr., 24, who had been cooperating with federal investigators, was found late Thursday night slumped dead inside a car, in front of the Judah House Praise Baptist Church in Northeast, said Cmdr. Michael Anzallo, head of the department’s Criminal Investigations Division.
Cmdr. Anzallo said a police officer was patrolling the neighborhood when gunshots were heard, then Lt. Harris was found dead inside the vehicle, which investigators would describe only as a blue car.
City police said they do not know whether his death was a direct result of his cooperation with federal investigators.
“We don’t have any information right now that connects his murder to that case,” Cmdr. Anzallo said.
Say what? We don’t know if it was connected? Hmmm, somehow, nothing ever gets connected where Barry is involved and somehow the murders always go unsolved.
The Washington Times reported April 5 that contractors for the State Department had improperly accessed passport information for presidential candidates Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain, which resulted in a series of firings that reached into the agency’s top ranks.
Sorry Tommy Coburn: Obama & The Banking Cartel Already Cut Education Assistance By $100 Billion, Already Cut Food Stamps By $2.2 Billion, & Health Care By +$6.6 Billion.
One agency employee, who was not identified in documents filed in U.S. District Court, was implicated in a credit-card fraud scheme after Lt. Harris told federal authorities he obtained “passport information from a co-conspirator who works for the U.S. Department of State.”
Now, somehow, I fail to be convinced that someone violated the law to get into Obama’s passport file to commit credit card fraud. This is not a logical thought.
I’m not sure where the Washington Times got the information for that last paragraph, but are they saying that this Lt. Harris’s name was openly mentioned in a court complaint and they had him wandering around without any type of security protection?
How many dead bodies does it take to figure out something strange is happening here?
Let’s see, we have three at Trinity United Church of Christ (murders never solved):
…the murder of Donald Young, a 47-year-old choir master at former Rev. Jeremiah Wright‘s Trinity United Church of Christ—the same congregation that Obama has attended for the past 20 years. Two other young black men that attended the same church—Larry Bland and Nate Spencer—were also murdered execution style with bullets to the backs of their heads—all within 40 days of each other, beginning in November 2007. All three were openly homosexual.
In Arkansas, we have the pre-convention murder of the Dem Party Chairman, who rumor has it, was not going to switch his vote from Hillary to Obama. Someone was attached to this murder, but he is also dead. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for the murder; the guy was mentally unstable, but then so are most murderers.
Obama isn’t alone with a past of more than a few skeletons. It seems most of our recent presidents have an issue with unnatural deaths.
Barrack Hussein Obama The Community Organizer? Not Quite.
The real question is, who is the President of the United States and will we survive his presidency? All that I know is that I am really relieved that I have never met this walking death sentence, seen this walking death sentence, nor talked to this walking death sentence. Otherwise, I would be very worried.
YES, the above video is fake. It is a compilation of sound bites taken out of context and digitally remastered in an attempt at humor. Did it succeed?
Bill Clinton Supports Changing 22nd Amendment on Presidential Term Limits
by Billy Hallowell
Former President Bill Clinton says he supports a new “rule” in dealing with limits to presidential governance. After individuals serve two terms, he says they should be able to serve a third — with a few caveats.
First and foremost, this regulation, should it be adopted, shouldn’t apply to anyone who has already served. Also, the former president would want the individual seeking a third round in the White House to take some time off after his or her second term.
Clinton was speaking to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” where he was promoting his new book, “Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy.”
When co-host Joe Scarborough asked, “Shouldn’t a president be able to take two terms, take time off and run again? Shouldn’t Americans have that choice?,” Clinton answered affirmatively, saying:
“I’ve always thought that should be the rule. I think as a practical matter, you couldn’t apply this to anyone who has already served, but going forward, I personally believe that should be the rule.”
When Ronald Reagan ran for re-election in 1984, his slogan was “Morning in America.” For Barack Obama, it’s more like midnight in a coal mine.
The sputtering economy is about to stall out, unemployment is high, his jobs program may not pass, foreclosures are rampant and the poor guy can’t even sneak a cigarette.
His approval rating is at its lowest level ever. His party just lost two House elections — one in a district it had held for 88 consecutive years. He’s staked his future on the jobs bill, which most Americans don’t think would work.
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?
It’s not as though there is much enticement to stick around. Presidents who win re-election have generally found, wrote John Fortier and Norman Ornstein in their 2007 book, “Second-Term Blues,” that “their second terms did not measure up to their first.”
Presidential encores are generally a bog of frustration, exhaustion and embarrassment. They are famous for lowest moments rather than finest hours. Richard Nixon was forced to resign in disgrace, Reagan had the Iran-Contra scandal, and Bill Clinton made the unfortunate acquaintance of Monica Lewinsky.
Administration officials get weary after four years and leave in droves. The junior varsity has to be put into service. New ideas are hard to come by.
Someone said that when a man is smitten with a beautiful woman, he should remember that somebody somewhere is tired of her. Likewise, the most inspiring presidents get stale after years of constant overexposure.
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.
Not only that, Clinton is a savvy political veteran who already knows how to run for president. Oh, and a new Bloomberg poll finds her to be merely “the most popular national political figure in America today.”
If he runs for re-election, Obama may find that the only fate worse than losing is winning. But he might arrange things so it will be Clinton who has the unenviable job of reviving the economy, balancing the budget, getting out of Afghanistan and grappling with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Obama, meanwhile, will be on a Hawaiian beach, wrestling the cap off a Corona.
Steve Chapman is a member of the Tribune’s editorial board and blogs at chicagotribune.com/chapman