Hillary to the rescue for Obama? I don’t see it

Here we go with the speculation about changes Barack Obama could make to enhance his chances of re-election. One of those proposed changes is making Hillary Clinton his running mate. Richard Benedetto makes the case at Real Clear Politics:

Clinton would add some much-needed pizazz to a tough campaign that [Joe] Biden does not. More importantly, she would shore up a shaky Democratic base, a huge part of which consists of disappointed women who still believe the secretary of state should have been president and would have done a better job than Obama.

Biden, who ran for president himself in 2008, was picked for vice president largely to make up for the foreign policy experience that Obama lacked. After all, he had been chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. But Clinton, after three years of solid performance as secretary of state, more than matches that, making Biden expendable.

It is Clinton’s voice, not Biden’s, that we hear when the administration speaks out on hot spots such as Syria, Libya and Somalia. That clearly demonstrates how much trust and confidence the president has in allowing her to articulate administration policy on touchy and volatile foreign policy issues he would rather not be front-and-center on himself.

In contrast, Biden flopped on the one high-profile task Obama gave him this year — negotiate a budget-deficit deal with Democrats and Republicans in Congress. The Biden-led talks came to an abrupt end in June when Republicans walked out.

Now, I don’t think anyone would argue Biden is an indispensable part of the Obama team. And this isn’t the first time this idea has been floated.

But the foreign policy angle doesn’t strike me as a good reason to replace Biden with Clinton. Foreign policy is going to play second fiddle, at best, to the economy in next year’s election. And to the degree that it plays a role, highlighting Clinton’s role as Obama’s voice on Syria, Libya and Somalia — none of which are exactly bragging points for the president to date — doesn’t seem like much of a win to me.

For Clinton to boost Obama’s appeal in the states Benedetto mentions later in the article — Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Florida, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa — she’d probably have to speak more on economic issues anyway. But what is she going to be able to say on economic issues that will make a difference, unless Obama introduces new policies for her to talk about? I know this administration thinks its messaging has been the real culprit, but the real problem is its inability to do anything to shake 9 percent unemployment and stagnant growth. Perhaps Obama will offer some new ideas — besides reforming the patent system — in his big speech next month. And if so, perhaps Clinton would be a better spokesperson for those ideas than Biden (or even Obama). But unless he announces the VP switch soon, aren’t those policies going to sink or swim before she can help? And if Obama is determined to stay the course, I don’t see how she helps — or why she’d want to be going out and touting the same old policies that aren’t working.

I suppose the best argument that is that Hillary would help Obama just by being Hillary, not to mention bringing her husband’s full attention and political skills to bear. But that requires leading disillusioned Democrats to believe she will deliver where Obama has failed — that she will (again) be a kind of co-president. Wasn’t that one of the reasons she didn’t make it onto the ticket with Obama in 2008?

OK, Democratic readers. Tell me why I’m wrong about this.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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249 comments Add your comment

Linda

August 17th, 2011
11:10 am

Howdy! (That’s Texan for Good Morning!)

carlosgvv

August 17th, 2011
11:14 am

Clinton would probably be a better VP than Biden. However, unless he willingly gives up the VP job, ousting him would probably do more harm to the Democrats than good.

Augusta

August 17th, 2011
11:15 am

NO MORE OBAMA!!!!!

old timer

August 17th, 2011
11:15 am

Don’t see it either…

carlosgvv

August 17th, 2011
11:15 am

Linda

Whats Texan for “Gov. Perry is a lightweight hack”?

UGA 1999

August 17th, 2011
11:17 am

I would rather see Clinton be President versus Obama.

Jefferson

August 17th, 2011
11:23 am

You, Kyle should worry about the GOP, as they are doing a hat dance. It called deflection, BTW.

Ron

August 17th, 2011
11:25 am

I agree UGA 1999.

Matt the Brave

August 17th, 2011
11:27 am

I’m not necessarily a Democrat, but I think that this is the way that Obama keeps Clinton from running against him in 2012. I don’t think that it is necessarily a lock for Obama to get the Democratic nomination (look at history – there have been a few times that incumbent presidents did not receive the nomination because of poor production), so putting Clinton on the ticket would eliminate his strongest rival from running against him.

I think that Biden would step down as long as his fall ended with a cushy position to land. This is what happened with Roosevelt when he put Truman in for VP instead of Harry Wallace. Wallace was appointed Secretary of Commerce until Truman fired him (amongst other reasons: he was a little to sympathetic to the Russians). In any case, Wallace was fine and was given another position within the cabinet. This could be the same for Biden.

UGA 1999

August 17th, 2011
11:29 am

I think this is more a possiblity that many may think. I do know that the Obama’s and the Clintons do NOT get along.

Tony

August 17th, 2011
11:36 am

Kyle, you are at a again, huh? LOL. I was just telling my wife the other night that a change of VP might be appropriate for President Obama in 2012. Secretary Hillary Clinton? Well, she would help carry the base and encourage some otherwise right leaning independents. She has increased her political standing as our “foreign minister”. But given the climate of the politics right now (economy, economy, economy), her chances were best in 2008. For 2012, I would suggest more of an independent. The 2012 presidential race will be won in the swing states, and the south. What the president would need to secure victory in 2012 (no disrespect to Biden) is someone like a Mike Bloomberg type. President Truman warned us about businessmen in politics, and the military industrial complex, and we should have learned our lesson from the last president. But, to create a positive economic policy and direction for the country, an independent or strong liberal southern or mid-western business-minded candidate, or otherwise contrast to President Obama would be most beneficial. The Obama dissenters in the American public have forgotten the fact that the President is working against a right-winged House that is determined to make him unsuccessful at all costs. So President may need to rock the boat once more as he did during his Presidential campaign. Thanks Kyle.

MrLiberty

August 17th, 2011
11:39 am

Don’t enough people hate this administration already??

ByteMe

August 17th, 2011
11:39 am

Any day now the “frontrunner” Rick Perry will ask about the validity of Obama’s birth certificate. You read it here first.

As for Hillary, he could have done it before, but the analysis goes like this: in order to win swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, he doesn’t need an NYC liberal from Arkansas, he needs someone from the small town parts of that region. Which is why Biden was not allowed out of that area for the duration of the 2008 campaign and kept talking about his Scranton roots. Palin and Whats-his-name couldn’t compete with that.

Same thing this time: he will need those regions again and Hillary doesn’t help there. And Hillary will likely campaign for him anyway (as will the former Bubba-in-Chief), so there’s no real reason for her to take the “bucket of warm spit” job.

UGA 1999

August 17th, 2011
11:41 am

ByteMe……Your point?

dcb

August 17th, 2011
11:42 am

Even though not an Obama (and Reid and Pelosi) fan, I think the ‘12 race is one for Obama to lose rather than have to worry about winning. The GOP is shooting themselves in the foot with their partisan shenanigans and no viable candidates presented to date. So unless there are changes in one or both areas, then the more changes Obama tries to make, the more he has to lose. It’s a shame that as so often happens in political races these days, the voter has to make a choice for the lesser of two evils rather than a true winner for the people.

Needanew prez

August 17th, 2011
11:46 am

I don’t care if Hillary is VP or not, Obama needs to go. 4 more years of him and his redistribution policies will damage the country further. Liberalism does not work!

UGA 1999

August 17th, 2011
11:48 am

dcb…..you dont think OBama is playin partisan shenanigans???

Linda

August 17th, 2011
11:51 am

carlosgvv@11:15, Obama thinks he’s in a little presidential race. He’s actually a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest & will look like he’s been rode hard & put up wet.

A woman in a pant-suit would be as handy as hip pockets on a hog. It might take someone who has actually created a job for Obama not to come out looking like a gnat caught in a hail storm.

Joe The Plumber too.

August 17th, 2011
11:59 am

barry the boy blunder is done, I don’t see hitlary hitching her wagon to his losing campaign. Best senerio for her is to go for the nomination herself.

Svenzo

August 17th, 2011
12:00 pm

Unemployment in fabulous Texas is over 8%. Many of the employed 92% have jobs at the bottom of the U.S. wage scale. Gov. Perry is not America’s miracle cure.

Jason

August 17th, 2011
12:01 pm

Matt the Brave – Although their have been rare historical cases where a sitting President didn’t get his party’s nomination, there is NO CHANCE that would happen here. Seriously, no chance. If Hillary (or whomever) tried to capture the Democratic nomination, it would serve as a huge indictment on his administration and fracture the party. Not happening. Interestingly, despite polls indicating otherwise, I don’t see a republican candidate that will beat Obama. He’ll have twice the warchest, and the republicans will fail to gain universal support because of their far-right social views.

Frigmund Scroid

August 17th, 2011
12:03 pm

I wonder if Der Tzitung would airbrush Hillary out of campaign photos if she ran for VP….

Actually, I like the idea of Hillary running with Obama to stir up the Democratic base once again. It seems to me that the African-American community will not flood the polling booths like they did in 2008. Obama has simply not been liberal enough for them.

However, add Hillary and you infuse life and a gender-influenced constituency into the race. Frankly, she should be at the top of the ticket but national politics don’t work that way. And the fact that it’s been 12 years since Clinton left office means that the right wing propaganda machine won’t be able to tie her to Bill like it would have 4 years ago.

Run Hillary run.

UGA 1999

August 17th, 2011
12:03 pm

Svenzo….Texas is responsible for 40% of all of the new jobs created in the US. Great job Mr. Perry…soon to be President Perry.

RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT

August 17th, 2011
12:05 pm

i don’t agree with 100% of his positions, but at least he’s got the guts to speak his mind, the intelligence to create sensible solutions, and the love for our country over the love of any party.

do some soul-searching people – why reelect those candidates that our two major parties continue to throw at us?

Yes, I voted Bush then Obama, so I’m due for a good vote, aren’t you?

ByteMe

August 17th, 2011
12:05 pm

Texas is responsible for 40% of all of the new jobs created in the US.

And training for most of those jobs includes learning the phrase “Do you want fries to go with that?”

RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT

August 17th, 2011
12:06 pm

Perry’s lucky enough to live in Texas where Oil is a MAJOR contributor to the economy. Other states don’t have that luxury, and I won’t attribute this job growth to any of the governor’s policies…

RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT

August 17th, 2011
12:08 pm

Junior Samples

August 17th, 2011
12:09 pm

No Kyle,

Considering it’s just wild speculation, I will not tell you why you are wrong.

At least you’re admitting it.

Kyle Wingfield

August 17th, 2011
12:10 pm

Actually, ByteMe, Texas ranks right in the middle of the pack in median income and has the sixth-fastest growing wages since the recession began.

A lot of the anti-Texas-economy talking points are shredded here: http://www.politicalmathblog.com/?p=1590

Kyle Wingfield

August 17th, 2011
12:13 pm

Svenzo @ 12:00: That link goes for your lines, too.

Self_Made

August 17th, 2011
12:19 pm

I don’t know. I was actually expecting Mrs. Clinton to resign this summer and announce her candidacy. Since that didn’t happen, I can see how the President and the DNC would pull a boner like the one you just described. Hilary has more credibility running alone, not with Obama.

Aquagirl

August 17th, 2011
12:19 pm

What kind of slogan would they use? “Obama/Clinton 2012: don’t worry—Hillary might be able to slap some sense into him now he’s gotten his @$$ kicked in Washington?”

UGA 1999

August 17th, 2011
12:20 pm

ByteMe…..sounds like you are familiar with that phrase…..

UGA 1999

August 17th, 2011
12:20 pm

Aquagirl….funny.

Tony

August 17th, 2011
12:21 pm

Frigmund, you underestimate and miscategorize the African-American voter. In fact, the African-American support for the President is the highest of any group for any party, which says a lot about their confidence in the President and their political awareness. African-Americans understand the real reasons why everything that the President tries to do (for America) is met with criticism. It is prejudice and partisanship. African-Americans do not have a short memory (George Bush). It is Bush’s economy that is being attacked by the right wing. This is why African-Americans, and others will return to the polls in support of President Obama.

Reasonable Ray

August 17th, 2011
12:21 pm

An incumbent President wins/loses based on his record, not his runningmate. The running mate is only important to the non-incumbent candidates. Since the GOP candidate will most likely be a present/former Governor with very little practical experience in global matters or the way the US Congress works, who will they choose as a running mate? Maybe this is where Newt brings value to the GOP field.

PoliticalMan

August 17th, 2011
12:21 pm

I always get a laugh when people start talking about liberals and redistribution. The only redistribution that happens in the good ole USA is from the middle class to the rich via tax shelters, tax breaks, deunionization, etc, etc. All of which are right up so-called conservatives’ alley. If anyone thinks that the Republicans would even remotely adopt policies to help average Americans, you would be a fool, entirely ignorant of history.

tired of all the lies in america

August 17th, 2011
12:23 pm

HILLIARY NEEDS TO BE THE PRESIDENT OF THE US THEN MAYBE JOBS AND THE DEFICIT WOULD FALL, I MADE ALOT OF MONEY WHEN MR. CLINTON WAS PRESIDENT ,HILLARY RUN AGAIN PLEASE!!!!!!!!

UGA 1999

August 17th, 2011
12:23 pm

Tony….racist alittle eh?

PoliticalMan

August 17th, 2011
12:23 pm

Mr. Wingfield,

You did read Paul Krugman on the so-called Texas miracle, right?

UGA 1999

August 17th, 2011
12:24 pm

Tony….tell you what…..let us all know just ONE thing Obama has done to improve the unemployment or the economy….just ONE…..

UGA 1999

August 17th, 2011
12:25 pm

PoliticalMan….redistribution….hmmmm lets see.
You mean like 50% of the US population pay ZERO in taxes. In most cases they actually get a form of income from the government like….medicare, welfare, food stamps, etc…..

Yeah you are right the evil rich are stealing from this county..haha. Come on dude get a clue.

Frigmund Scroid

August 17th, 2011
12:26 pm

Tony, I did not mean to denigrate the African-American voter nor oversimplify the motivations of that demographic. Perhaps I should simply have said that the fervor of electing a black American in 2008 and the momentous consequences will have faded in November of 2012. Certainly Obama can rely on his staunchest supporters to bring out the vote, but there were millions of first-time, marginal voters in 2008 who in my opinion will not be standing in line to signify their support.

Please note the mid-terms in 2010 as a case in point.

Joe The Plumber too.

August 17th, 2011
12:29 pm

tony, you underestimate and miscategorize the African-American voter. You would be better served to state the majority will turn out to support him and then you would be taken more serious. I, as a Black American will not be supporting barry the boy blunder just as I and many other business owners didn’t the first time. It has made me an outcast at family bar-b-q’s but I have alot more elbow room that way.

Steve

August 17th, 2011
12:29 pm

I’m curious why Hillary would want to be Obama’s VP. I believe tying her name to him would do more to harm her chances of possibly being elected in 2016.

Tony

August 17th, 2011
12:31 pm

Politico-Man, that is really true…and, what is really bizarre is that many of the middle and lower class conservatives, or tea party voters actually believe that somehow they are the same as millionaires and billionaires economically. And on the abortion issue, it’s a done deal…same-sex marriage, done deal. This idea of holding on faithfully to such issues is ludicrous given our evolving society.

PoliticalMan

August 17th, 2011
12:31 pm

Maybe there is a reason nearly 50 % don’t pay income taxes. Could it be low income due to squeezed wages due to deunionization, etc. Is that too long of a chain to follow. Secondly, 100 % of people pay taxes in many different forms.

carlosgvv

August 17th, 2011
12:33 pm

Linda

Gosh, you are just full of good jibes today. Yep, really full of it.

PoliticalMan

August 17th, 2011
12:35 pm

It is a testament to propaganda that poor whites and others for that matter believe that encroachment on millionaires, that is, actually taxing them, will somehow fall on them. It is called shooting one’s self in the foot. Read WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH KANSAS.

Darko

August 17th, 2011
12:37 pm

Poor Joe “recover summer” Biden. He gets no respect (not that he earns any).