Less than a year out, the Hillary-2012 chatter won’t die

Apparently, those polls that show President Obama leading most of his GOP challengers in head-to-head match-ups do not impress pollsters Patrick Caddell and Douglas Schoen. That’s noteworthy because Caddell and Schoen are Democratic pollsters — and they argue, in an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal, that for the good of the country and the Democratic Party, Obama should step aside in 2012 and let a certain runner-up stand for election (cough, cough, Hillary Clinton, cough, cough:

Certainly, Mr. Obama could still win re-election in 2012. Even with his all-time low job approval ratings (and even worse ratings on handling the economy) the president could eke out a victory in November. But 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. With his job approval ratings below 45% overall and below 40% on the economy, the president cannot affirmatively make the case that voters are better off now than they were four years ago. He — like everyone else — knows that they are worse off.

Obama’s only chance, they write, is to argue that Republicans “represent a more risky and dangerous choice than the current administration — an argument he’s clearly begun to articulate.” The trouble with that, they note, is that doing so is already contributing to the partisan gridlock in Washington — as they predicted in another op-ed a year ago.

Caddell and Schoen argue the secretary of state has a better chance of winning than her current boss does, and that’s not all:

A CNN/ORC poll released in late September had Mrs. Clinton’s approval rating at an all-time high of 69% — even better than when she was the nation’s first lady. Meanwhile, a Time Magazine poll shows that Mrs. Clinton is favored over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by 17 points (55%-38%), and Texas Gov. Rick Perry by 26 points (58%-32%).

But this is about more than electoral politics. Not only is Mrs. Clinton better positioned to win in 2012 than Mr. Obama, but she is better positioned to govern if she does. Given her strong public support, she has the ability to step above partisan politics, reach out to Republicans, change the dialogue, and break the gridlock in Washington.

Who would ever have thought, four years ago, much less 12 years ago, that anyone could have argued that Hillary Clinton is the Democrats’ best bet to govern alongside Republicans?

One word of caution: Schoen was a pollster for Bill Clinton and just might have a bit of bias here (Caddell worked for Jimmy Carter). But it surely says something about Obama’s political peril that, 11.5 months before the 2012 election, any Democratic pollsters at all are still voicing such concerns about his viability.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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45 comments Add your comment

Don't Tread

November 21st, 2011
1:41 pm

I’m sure if the Republicans pull too far out in front in the polls, Obama will play the swap card (Hillary as VP and Biden as SoS).

Logical Dude

November 21st, 2011
1:44 pm

quoth: she has the ability to step above partisan politics,

BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!
Like the Republican will treat her any better than Obama.
Oh man! Stop it! BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

gm

November 21st, 2011
1:47 pm

Why should this great President of family values and morals bow out ? the rest of the country have seen this President has done everthing he could to get America back to working, the rep party plan to block everthing this President approves has back fired”””’

ragnar danneskjold

November 21st, 2011
1:50 pm

Shocking, not all democrats are koolaid sippers. At least a couple of them perceive what rational people see, the failure of an epic experiment, the waste of a trillion dollars. Only democrats thought it would work.

JDW

November 21st, 2011
1:51 pm

@Kyle…all seems about right. In particular the unfortunate truth…the Republicans represent a more risky and dangerous choice than the current administration.

BTW did you catch the self-anointed demigod on Sixty Minutes last night? Not much doubt about who is driving Republican policy now is there.

JDW

November 21st, 2011
1:52 pm

@ragnar…I guess you missed the part about as bad it is it’s still better than the Republican alternative. Doesn’t say much for what the Republicans have become now does it.

HDB

November 21st, 2011
1:55 pm

“……he will need to wage the most negative campaign in history…..”

Know why?? To counter all of the LIES that will come from Republicans!!! You could see it the start of it in 2008……

JF McNamara

November 21st, 2011
1:56 pm

People always love the backup quarterback. Clinton already lost once, and is more divisive than Obama ever will be.

You should be happy today. You are getting your $1.2 trillion in cuts one way or the other.

MarkV

November 21st, 2011
1:58 pm

The ideas presented in this article and in its source are laughable. Hillary Clinton would quickly lose her polling number if she became a candidate, and would be attacked by the Republicans as much, if not more, than Obama. The following claim is particularly nonsensical:

“But 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.”

Are those authors brain-dead?

getalife

November 21st, 2011
2:41 pm

They said this before.

She is retiring and after the President’s second term we are out of leaders.

Step up younger generation.

We need leaders.

Look at the gop clowns running for President for proof.

getalife

November 21st, 2011
2:45 pm

jf,

The gop are fighting against cuts for the military industrial complex so they will probably end up cutting nothing.

cons got punked.

Again.

hsn

November 21st, 2011
2:54 pm

Continue dreaming, Kyle ! You c.o.n.s can drum up all the “wild, wild” fantansies you want… In fact, keep fixated on fantasies until reality slaps you in the face.

Worry about your unstable potentials in the GOP who are drowned in scandals, and saddled with heavy baggages. For the Dems, the field is set, and I think you are panicking secretly… hence, the throwing around of “wild” ideas. Sorry, the O vs. C controversy of 2008 in which the c.o.n.s relished in dividing the Dems won’t happen again. Nice try, but a weak attempt at that !!!

O for 2012, C for 2016 :) !

carlosgvv

November 21st, 2011
2:59 pm

Kyle – “he will wage the most negative campaign in history”

We all know that each and every Presidential campaing sets a new record for “most negative”. This is going to happen anyway so saying Obama will do it just to keep from running on his record is misleading, at best. Of course, the Republicans will be just as negative, as they always are.

ragnar danneskjold

November 21st, 2011
3:10 pm

Good afternoon JDW @ 1:52, I think most rational souls would agree that the democrat plan – burning the seed corn for the next generation – is inferior to the republican plan, “to not burn the seed corn for the next generation.” Leftism is an economic philosophy that affirms that slapping constraints on the economy is a great idea, thereafter showing leftists wondering why the economy appears to be constrained.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

November 21st, 2011
3:31 pm

“the rest of the country have seen this President has done everthing he could to get America back to working, the rep party plan to block everthing this President approves has back fired”

And yet, the “rest of the country” doesn’t seem to agree with your assessment, gm.

Bart Abel

November 21st, 2011
3:33 pm

…the president cannot affirmatively make the case that voters are better off now than they were four years ago. He — like everyone else — knows that they are worse off….she (Hillary Clinton) has the ability to step above partisan politics, reach out to Republicans, change the dialogue, and break the gridlock in Washington.

These comments show that these guys are no more Democrats than I am a Republican.

It’s a an out-and-out lie to say that, generally, people are worse off than they were when Obama was inaugurated, given that he inherited an economy that was contracting at over 7 percent per quarter and shredding jobs by hundreds of thousands per month.

And it’s a lie to act as though Obama hasn’t reached out to Republicans. It’s their health care reform proposals that he adopted and passed. In an effort to garner Republican votes, one-third of his Recovery Act included tax cuts which Republican were for before they were against, and more than one-half of his proposed jobs bill is tax cuts (Republicans also used to be for infrastructure investments). In addition, both the President and Dems on the deficit reduction supercommittee proposed significant cuts to Medicare and Social Security in return for revenues to reduce the deficit, but Republicans said no unless they could increase deficits by making the Bush tax cuts permanent.

Republican presidential candidates and Republicans in Congress have repeatedly reversed themselves on positions they previously advocated specifically to prevent Obama from having any achievements whatsoever and so that hacks like the guys who wrote this WSJ piece could falsely assert that its Obama that can’t step above partisan politics.

Frustrating.

JDW

November 21st, 2011
3:33 pm

@Ragnar…were ” burning the seed corn for the next generation” part of the Democratic economic philosophy I would agree with you however it is not. It is the Republicans refusal to properly fund their various enterprises (wars, tax cuts and Medicare Part B) that has led us from a balanced fiscal situation in 2000 to the morass that we find ourselves in today.

The constraints that have been slapped on our economy today are the shackles of uncertainty in the form of suborn resistance to the proper funding of the shared government enterprise on the part of those that call themselves Conservative. The end result of this strategy is that the country struggles while the few benefit and one day, as history teaches time and time again, this too shall be stopped.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

November 21st, 2011
3:36 pm

“To counter all of the LIES that will come from Republicans!!! ”

You don’t have to lie when you have a disaster such as currently resides in 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., JDW.

MarkV

November 21st, 2011
3:41 pm

You have to do a lot of lying when you have left a disaster to a newly elected President, and then you have kept pretending that it was his fault that the economy was in the toilet.

Bart Abel

November 21st, 2011
3:42 pm

You should be happy today. You are getting your $1.2 trillion in cuts one way or the other.

JF McNamara made an excellent point here.

It was the Republicans who held our economy hostage under the guise of deficit reduction, who fought hard for a trigger, and who rejected any supercommittee proposal that didn’t INCREASE deficits by making the Bush tax cuts permanent. They’re getting the cuts that they demanded and agreed to, via the trigger, and they’re in no position to whine now.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

November 21st, 2011
3:43 pm

“It’s a an out-and-out lie to say that, generally, people are worse off than they were when Obama was inaugurated”

Reality? No, it’s not a lie. There are MANY people worse off today than they were 4 years ago. Just because things have improved IN CERTAIN AREAS doesn’t mean that people are better off now.

“And it’s a lie to act as though Obama hasn’t reached out to Republicans. It’s their health care reform proposals that he adopted and passed.

Reality? The CURRENT proposals of the GOP during the health care debate were completely and totally dismissed. He used warmed-over, discarded proposals from cherry-picked Republicans to lie to the American people that he was using GOP ideas.

“In an effort to garner Republican votes, one-third of his Recovery Act included tax cuts which Republican were for before they were against”

True.

“more than one-half of his proposed jobs bill is tax cuts”

Reality? Partially true, but the bill wasn’t paid for.

“In addition, both the President and Dems on the deficit reduction supercommittee proposed significant cuts to Medicare and Social Security in return for revenues to reduce the deficit, but Republicans said no unless they could increase deficits by making the Bush tax cuts permanent.”

Reality? Absolutely, positively, false, Bart Abel.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

November 21st, 2011
3:47 pm

“You have to do a lot of lying when you have left a disaster to a newly elected President, and then you have kept pretending that it was his fault that the economy was in the toilet.”

And yet, I don’t blame him for the problem with the economy, but for not doing anything to fix it properly.

Bart Abel

November 21st, 2011
3:53 pm

Tiberius is under the false impression that people are entitled to their own facts.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

November 21st, 2011
3:56 pm

Actually, Bart, you’re “facts” are shaded with your own personal view, and are no longer facts.

MarkV

November 21st, 2011
4:06 pm

“And yet, I don’t blame him for the problem with the economy, but for not doing anything to fix it properly.”

I suppose it means not being aggressive enough to break the Republicans’ sabotage.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

November 21st, 2011
4:10 pm

“I suppose it means not being aggressive enough to break the Republicans’ sabotage.”

And yet, no “sabotage” exists, except in your mind. You apparently feel as if Congress is supposed to pass everything the President wants without any differing view whatsoever. hasn’t ever worked when the parties strengths have been reversed, and doesn’t work that way now. It takes leadership to work in a bi-partisan relationship, and this current President has ZERO leadership skills.

Michael H. Smith

November 21st, 2011
4:14 pm

So you are smitten by Caddell and Schoen and what they’ve had to say are you Kyle? Well, let this name rock your world: None other James Carville and his comments not only send red flares flying, warning bells ringing, they scream volumes. Caddell and Schoen may be worth a cautionary noted but Carville… anything politically negative said against his own party or President, coming for him, should never be taken for anything less than ominously foreboding.

James Carville: Obama should ‘panic’

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0911/63573.html

PS. From the looks of comments made on this blog from the leftwing recently they have certainly taken Craville’s advice to heart Kyle – they’ve panicked alright.

@@

November 21st, 2011
4:17 pm

Given her strong public support, she has the ability to step above partisan politics, reach out to Republicans, change the dialogue, and break the gridlock in Washington.

If she follows Bill’s example, she could be a step above. It took a little nudgin’ by Republicans (Gingrich) but he learned the “right” way.

No doubt, Lanny Davis is thinking the same thing…he’s either too loyal or too scared to say it out loud. The dem party owns Lanny.

And the “Stupor Committee” still stews. To be expected…it was more hype than anything else.

MarkV

November 21st, 2011
4:19 pm

Bi-partisan relationship reqires two party relating. When one party relies on super majority to reject proposals, it has no right to talk about bi-pasrtisanship.

Jack

November 21st, 2011
4:25 pm

Been saying all along that Hillary will throw her hat in. She thinks it’s her due to be president. She doesn’t want Joe’s job, she wants Obama’s.

JDW

November 21st, 2011
4:25 pm

@Tiberius…”It takes leadership to work in a bi-partisan relationship”

Today we face a significant deficit problem as we did before the Clinton years. The only real way to ever fully resolve the problem, as it was resolved during the Clinton Administration is through a combination of raising taxes and spending responsibly.

The “sabotage” of the Republicans lies in their steadfast refusal to even CONSIDER a tax increase in ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM. However in the spirit of fair play I am sure you have several examples over the last 20 years or so where a compromise was supported by Republicans that included a tax increase. Could you enlighten me by recalling the last such event?

I am sure I can find several instances of Democratic support for reduced spending…I can start with the $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts the failure of the committee will necessitate.

ByteMe

November 21st, 2011
4:25 pm

Tee-bow! Tee-bow!! Tee-bow!!

Oh, wait, he’s the starter now, so let’s trash him.

And that’s our politics in a nutshell.

Michael H. Smith

November 21st, 2011
4:30 pm

The fascist party in – absolute uncompromising cram it down their throats – power from 2006 to 2010 led by comrades obumer-Ried-Pelosi and still in majority control of the Senate and White House giving condescending lectures on how bi-partisanship relations work and who has no right to talk about them?

GOOD GWAD Y’ALL! :lol:

ByteMe

November 21st, 2011
4:33 pm

Michael H. Smith has a very short term memory and ignores what happened in 2002-2006.

MarkV

November 21st, 2011
4:35 pm

The Republicans and their supporters are so two-faced it is astonishing. When the Democrats were in control of both houses, the Republicans used the super-majority trick to prevent the Democrats from enacting what was necessary. Then they won the elections by pointing out the failure of the Democrats to do what was necessary. Now when they control the House they charge that the Democrats did not accomplish anything while they had the control.

carlosgvv

November 21st, 2011
4:40 pm

Michael H. Smith

If you had any idea what Facism actually is, you would realize the Tea Party is becoming more and more Facist every day.

Michael H. Smith

November 21st, 2011
4:55 pm

carlosgvv, you’ve just shown how little you know about the TEA Party and the meaning of Fascism but that doesn’t surprise me considering your limited understanding of the Constitution, particularly the enumerated powers given to the Federal.

Michael H. Smith

November 21st, 2011
4:59 pm

ByteMe

November 21st, 2011
4:33 pm

My memory is fine. Perhaps yours is the one that deserves questioning. Bush compromised on a number of items with the DEMS. obumer has made only one concession, the rest of the time the DEM in Congress flat out denied compromise or amendments.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Thee Magnificent!!! mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

November 21st, 2011
5:01 pm

Looks like the dummycrat lynch mob has grown tired with their token so it’s back to the white trash from ArKKKansas.

If this works, then we’ll have the Occupy rabble inside of the White House.

ew

Intown

November 21st, 2011
5:28 pm

I voted for her in the 2008 Democratic primary. I’d be fine with it!

Ross Perot

November 21st, 2011
5:54 pm

I guess he was better as a community organizer than a supercommittee organizer. I really appreciate his lack of involvement. Once again the do nothing dems will compromise on nothing unless they get to raise more taxes and spend more on stimulus.

MarkV

November 21st, 2011
6:14 pm

Recent poll numbers, November 18-20,

Should or should not increases in taxes on businesses and higher-income Americans
be included in deficit reduction proposal ?

Should 67% Should not 32% No opinion 1%

http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/11/21/rel19a.pdf

Hillbilly D

November 21st, 2011
6:16 pm

Hillary is a lot of things but a dumby she ain’t. My guess would be that her Presidential aspirations are still there, however, I don’t think she would take on a sitting President from her own party, unless she knew it was a slam dunk, that he would lose. At this point, I think things would have to take a drastic turn in the next few months for her to throw her hat in the ring for 2012. Down the road might be a different story, though.

Gimme Gimme Gimme

November 21st, 2011
10:03 pm

Hilary has more balls than Obama. She doesn’t think there are 57 States and she knows how to be tough and get things done.

old teach

November 22nd, 2011
8:25 am

I, like many others, am frustrated by the kick-the-can-down-the-road mentality of Congress. Instead of statesmen schooled in the art of compromise, we now have masters of partisanship. No matter that waiting for the “other side” to blink has cost us untold amounts in investment money when the stock market responded to legislative impasses. Will the automatic cuts kick in and solve part of the problem for Congress? I’m not holding my breath on that one, because I don’t think that lawmakers ever had any intention for the cuts actually to take place.
Speaking of compromise, it means to give up something to get something. And neither side gets everything it wants.For the Republicans, the Bush tax cuts were never meant to be permanent. For the Democrats, Social Security and Medicare must be touched.
But every time Congress wastes an opportunity to attack the deficit, that deficit grows and makes the job of shrinking it even more difficult. And it’s getting late–really late. It looks like 2012 is going to be the showdown for Congress, the President, and the American people. Between now and the election, we must not be blinded by the rhetoric of those running for re-election. We have too much to lose–hey, we’ve already lost too much.