I wanted to make sure you were aware of this piece by two Democratic strategists that ran in Monday’s Wall Street Journal.
Patrick Caddell and Douglas Schoen argue that President Obama should cede the floor to Hillary, allowing her to claim the Democratic nomination.
Caddell and Schoen offer a cogent argument that goes well beyond the “she’s more popular” reasoning you usually encounter.
In fact, they assert that Obama could well win. But they argue that for the good of the country, he should step aside anyway.
The kind of campaign required for the president’s political survival would make it almost impossible for him to govern—not only during the campaign, but throughout a second term. Put simply, it seems that the White House has concluded that if the president cannot run on his record, he will need to wage the most negative campaign in history to stand any chance.
By going down the re-election road and into partisan mode, the president has effectively guaranteed that the remainder of his term will be marred by the resentment and division that have eroded our national identity, common purpose, and most of all, our economic strength.
And they note that a depoliticized Obama is one who could actually work to save the economy now, before the onslaught of negative news and declining confidence sets off a catastrophe that will make the recent recession look like a light stretching exercise.
If President Obama were to withdraw, he would put great pressure on the Republicans to come to the table and negotiate—especially if the president singularly focused in the way we have suggested on the economy, job creation, and debt and deficit reduction. By taking himself out of the campaign, he would change the dynamic from who is more to blame—George W. Bush or Barack Obama?—to a more constructive dialogue about our nation’s future.
He won’t do this, of course. Obama has put his personal policy preferences and political survival ahead of the country’s interest from the start.
But still, it’s interesting reading, and fascinating to see from Democrats. It may be a sign of the lack of intensity Obama is finding among his base.
Perhaps even a plant by the pro-Hillary crowd. Who knows? They’re a savvy bunch too.