Howard Dean and Russ Feingold: No way will we primary Obama in 2012

posted at 4:13 pm on November 4, 2010 by Allahpundit

Politico hinted this morning that Dean-o might be ready to take a run at The One, but his office issued a statement this afternoon that is, alas, quite Shermanesque. Feingold’s, however, is a bit more nuanced. I’m hoping he’ll reconsider — a Carter/Kennedy primary war between The One and some liberal darling would be traffic gold — but Herb Kohl will be facing reelection two years from now in Wisconsin at the ripe old age of 77 and Feingold may be looking ahead to that. If Kohl retires, he’s well positioned to succeed him: His name recognition is sky high and the 2012 landscape should be more favorable to a true-blue liberal with Obama turning out younger voters and minorities at the top of the ballot. In which case, yeah, obviously Feingold’s not going to make any noise just yet about primarying Obama; he needs to stay in the party’s good graces at least until he knows what Kohl will do re: reelection.

And yet … someone should challenge Obama from the left, no? It’s a simple strategic matter. There’s no way anyone will beat him in the primary, and the fear of weakening him for the general election is both real and well-grounded, but the reality of a Republican House means The One will face pressure over the next two years to bend to the right. And he might well give in occasionally, if only to pander to centrists ahead of 2012. Progressives need some leverage to pressure him the other way; a primary challenge would provide it. What I can’t figure out is whether a challenge is more likely if Obama weakens further over the six months or, paradoxically, if it’s more likely if he starts to rebound. The conventional answer is that the weaker he gets, the more probable a challenge is, but I’m not so sure: Unlike Carter vis-a-vis Kennedy, he can count on winning heavily among black voters against any primary opponent, which makes defeating him all but impossible. In that case, fearing a replay of 1980 in the general election, Democrats may back off and unite behind him as he starts to sink, knowing that he’s ultimately the only game in town. On the other hand, if the economy starts to improve and it looks like he’s a heavy favorite in the general, they may calculate that they can afford to beat him up a bit in a primary and try to yank him back to the left on key issues where he might otherwise bend. E.g., Gibbs is already hinting that The One’s “open to listening” to GOP proposals about extending the Bush tax cuts for wealthy taxpayers, an idea that was anathema to Hopenchange in 2008. A few policy reversals on that order and things might get interesting.

The question is, if not Dean or Feingold, who? I suppose Ralph Nader’s always available for a quixotic, futile, potentially self-defeating presidential run. Anyone else? Here’s GOP pollster Bill McInturff calculating that, yes indeed, a primary challenge is quite likely at this point.


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Real Answer: We will let Hillary pull that trigger, and then we will jump in.

Mr. Joe on November 4, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Alvin Greene is available in 2012. Probably carry quite a few states in the primaries, too.

coldwarrior on November 4, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Does it matter? Who else do they have? Almost every democrat is a raging progressive … with the same goals Obama has.

darwin on November 4, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Neither one of them has the balls of Her Thighness of cattle futures fame.

Western_Civ on November 4, 2010 at 4:16 PM

The question is, if not Dean or Feingold, who? I suppose Ralph Nader’s always available for a quixotic, futile, potentially self-defeating presidential run. Anyone else?

I s’pose Alan Grayson will have some more time on his hands again here soon….?….

hadta say it

ted c on November 4, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Why not go whole hog with the unexperienced blatherer and nominate Markos? He couldn’t possibly be worse, right?

/though the thought makes me vomit.

Vanceone on November 4, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Talk is cheap two years away from an election.

MadisonConservative on November 4, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Feingold/Castle 2012!!

Caper29 on November 4, 2010 at 4:17 PM

Paging Dennis Kucinich, paging Dennis Kucinich.

amerpundit on November 4, 2010 at 4:17 PM

the only way this happens is if Obama truly compromises with the GOP, repeal of Obamacare in exchange for keeping some components. Some sort of Grand bargain that pulls the country right but gives Obama some victories to pint to. (Not gonna happen)

rob verdi on November 4, 2010 at 4:18 PM

Talk is cheap two years away from an election.

MadisonConservative on November 4, 2010 at 4:16 PM

‘zactly.

catmman on November 4, 2010 at 4:18 PM

Vanceone on November 4, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Actually, Markos has more experience. He’s both worked in the private sector and served in the military.

amerpundit on November 4, 2010 at 4:18 PM

The conventional answer is that the weaker he gets, the more probable a challenge is, but I’m not so sure: Unlike Carter vis-a-vis Kennedy, he can count on winning heavily among black voters against any primary opponent, which makes defeating him all but impossible.

That’s why a primary challenge is unlikely. At least not a serious one(i.e. Hillary). The Democrats ironically have screwed themselves by hedging their entire electoral fate on their associations with groups like unions, anti-military zealots, environmentalist wackos, and minority voters. If they alienate even one of those constituencies, they doom themselves in a general election. Which means no matter how bad things get between now and 2012, they’re basically stuck with Obama.

Doughboy on November 4, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Obama has been listening to GOP proposals for two years now. Tragically, those proposals haven’t been serious. If only the GOP had ideas that were serious, that Obama could accept all of this partisan acrimony would go away. Why can’t the GOP see that?

Skandia Recluse on November 4, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Just show your true colors: Howard Dean/Barney Frank 2012!!!!

search4truth on November 4, 2010 at 4:20 PM

If they re-run Obama,that will mean,somehow,they will
have to find a way to re-float the Titanic,and more to
the point,where will they find the man-power(Voters)!!

canopfor on November 4, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Well known secret that Kohl is going to retire and not run in 2012. Fiengold is will go after that seat. I hope my fellow Wisconsinites have better sense than to send him back to D.C.

WisRich on November 4, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Talk is cheap two years away from an election.

MadisonConservative on November 4, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Can we stop saying Palin is unelectable then?

Inanemergencydial on November 4, 2010 at 4:21 PM

I thought Evan Bayah was going to primary him.

redeye on November 4, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Politico hinted this morning that Dean-o might be ready to take a run at The One, but his office issued a statement this afternoon that is, alas, quite Shermanesque. Feingold’s, however, is a bit more nuanced.

What were they supposed to say?

Yes I am. I will challenge Obama 2 years out of an election?

portlandon on November 4, 2010 at 4:22 PM

I thought Evan Bayah was going to primary him.

redeye on November 4, 2010 at 4:21 PM

I wish. Bayh would have no shot at winning, but he’d seriously weaken Barry.

Just out of curiosity, what credibility does Bayh even have to challenge Obama from the right? He voted for Porkulus and Obamacare.

Doughboy on November 4, 2010 at 4:22 PM

Talk is cheap two years away from an election.

MadisonConservative on November 4, 2010 at 4:16 PM

MadisonConservative: I bet this is another Liberal
Distraction Mission,for the
next two years!:)

canopfor on November 4, 2010 at 4:23 PM

I still think there will be someone from the left and someone from the right of his party to challenge him. Not sure about the left, maybe Rendell or Dean (even though he denies it) or maybe Kerry or Kerrey, on the right, my money is still on Evan Bayh running.

For the GOP, if Sarah runs, alot of people will not, since she will take the air right out of the room the moment she announces. If she doesn’t, I could see Perry, Ritter, or Otter running in her place.

Notice for the GOP, I only mentioned governors

ConservativePartyNow on November 4, 2010 at 4:24 PM

O.T.P. ( One Term President ) by WOLVERINES!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MddREczVeL4

canopfor on November 4, 2010 at 4:25 PM

Just out of curiosity, what credibility does Bayh even have to challenge Obama from the right? He voted for Porkulus and Obamacare.

Doughboy on November 4, 2010 at 4:22 PM

Really nothing. He’s a bit better on national security and Israel. But economic wise? Basically the same.

amerpundit on November 4, 2010 at 4:25 PM

HilRods Revenge!

canopfor on November 4, 2010 at 4:26 PM

or Otter running in her place.

ConservativePartyNow on November 4, 2010 at 4:24 PM

Otter?

darwin on November 4, 2010 at 4:26 PM

Gen. Wesley Clark

fourdeucer on November 4, 2010 at 4:27 PM

Feingold ain’t coming back AP.

To quote Blue Lou Marini:

“Those lights are off for a reason.”

SuperCool on November 4, 2010 at 4:28 PM

Otter?

darwin on November 4, 2010 at 4:26 PM

This Otter.

portlandon on November 4, 2010 at 4:28 PM

Feingold? REALLY?

I don’t remember the media pushing George Allen as a 2008 contender after losing a close election to Webb, well within the margin of a recount, in Virginia in 2006 in which the WaPo threw everything but the kitchen sink at him to beat him.

Feingold, OTOH, came into this cycle as one of the safest seats in the Senate and got thumped by about 10 points by a virtual unknown. If he can’t win his own state, which has gone blue since either 1984 or 1988, then how would he compete seriously with Obama?

teke184 on November 4, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Otter?

darwin on November 4, 2010 at 4:26 PM

this Otter

ConservativePartyNow on November 4, 2010 at 4:31 PM

Alvin Greene is available in 2012. Probably carry quite a few states in the primaries, too.

coldwarrior on November 4, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Plus he’s got those cooler than cool comic books!

AubieJon on November 4, 2010 at 4:31 PM

Feingold ain’t coming back AP.

To quote Blue Lou Marini:

“Those lights are off for a reason.”

SuperCool on November 4, 2010 at 4:28 PM

Not to be too picky, but the correct quote is:

“I don’t think so, man. Those lights are off on purpose.”

I’ve seen The Blues Brothers way too many times.

Doughboy on November 4, 2010 at 4:33 PM

Hillary will.

Oink on November 4, 2010 at 4:35 PM

O will not run in 2012. The Donks had better come up with someone fast.

No birth certificate, no presidency.

Fool me once, shame on you. Try to fool me again = jailtime. You only get away with the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the people of the United States once.

Califemme on November 4, 2010 at 4:36 PM

Frank/Pelosi 2012!!!!

txag92 on November 4, 2010 at 4:36 PM

Feingold ain’t coming back AP.

To quote Blue Lou Marini:

“Those lights are off for a reason.”

SuperCool on November 4, 2010 at 4:28 PM

Not to be too picky, but the correct quote is:

“I don’t think so, man. Those lights are off on purpose.”

I’ve seen The Blues Brothers way too many times.

Doughboy on November 4, 2010 at 4:33 PM

I don’t see Obama and company pulling off a set list of Rawhide and Stand By Your Man to save their *sses in 2012.

teke184 on November 4, 2010 at 4:36 PM

I don’t see Obama and company pulling off a set list of Rawhide and Stand By Your Man to save their *sses in 2012.

teke184 on November 4, 2010 at 4:36 PM

No, but I do see them trying to eat corn on the cob with NO F’ING TEETH!!!

Doughboy on November 4, 2010 at 4:37 PM

This isn’t 1980. The parties are so much farther apart that they come together more quickly to oppose the “enemy.”

The Hillary/Obama fight was as nasty as they come… but the threatened PUMA vote never materialized.

mankai on November 4, 2010 at 4:38 PM

And so it begins…………Liberal Hand Wringing Angst
and Finger Pointing within their Party!!!

Its really going to get UGLY,and maybe,just maybe,Liberals
will clean their Party out of the Extreme LeftWing Kook
Fringes,the Socialist Engineering Justice Commies,Environ
mentalists Controlling the Gulf Oil Field ClusterFarks,the
Union Thug Paid Political Enforces,the ACORNS and their ilk
that were Frauding Elections………….the racial instiga
tions and Race Card Ad Nausems………………….

canopfor on November 4, 2010 at 4:39 PM

I’ve got an idea to raise money to pay down the deficit… put Obama and other top Dems up on stage behind a chicken-wire cage then charge money to let people throw full beer-bottles at them.

I’ve got a special affinity for the chicken-wire cage portion of The Blues Brothers ever since Tom “Bones” Malone did a concert at my college, his alma mater, and told us that the inspiration for that scene came from a gig he did in the area when he was starting out.

teke184 on November 4, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Obama has been listening to GOP proposals for two years now. Tragically, those proposals haven’t been serious. If only the GOP had ideas that were serious, that Obama could accept all of this partisan acrimony would go away. Why can’t the GOP see that?

Skandia Recluse on November 4, 2010 at 4:20 PM

This is really OT but, are you being sarcastic? no way you can be serious…

neuquenguy on November 4, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Alvin Greene is available in 2012. Probably carry quite a few states in the primaries, too.

coldwarrior on November 4, 2010 at 4:15 PM

I don’t think he’s old enough to qualify… but then again, Constitutional requirements didn’t stop Obama.

I’m just sayin’

;)

mankai on November 4, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Grayson/Greene 2012!

Casper the Friendly Host on November 4, 2010 at 4:42 PM

The Hillary/Obama fight was as nasty as they come… but the threatened PUMA vote never materialized.

mankai on November 4, 2010 at 4:38 PM

mankai:That HilRod/Obama score has yet to be settled!!

canopfor on November 4, 2010 at 4:42 PM

Good news! Alvin Greene turns 35 in 2012! He’s eligible!

mankai on November 4, 2010 at 4:42 PM

I would take this whole article with a grain of salt. I mean, what are these guys SUPPOSED to say two days after midterms? Now is not the time for a Dim to throw his (her) hat into the ring. The next 6-8 months will decide whether Zero will recover or sink further. That’s when the line will form for a primary.

joejm65 on November 4, 2010 at 4:44 PM

He will not be moving to the right at all. Not sure why everyone keeps entertaining that bit of fantasy.

ButterflyDragon on November 4, 2010 at 4:47 PM

Yeah… “Check’s in the mail,” and “if you like your current doctor and your current health plan, you can keep them.”

VastRightWingConspirator on November 4, 2010 at 4:48 PM

A battle on the liberal side would be amusing, but having Obama not have to go through primary debates would have a plus side as well. He has a thin skin, and without the practice of primary debates he will enter the general campaign out of shape. Gore came off as a an arrogant SOB in his debates, and of course GWB also flubbed his 2004 debates very badly. The same will happen to Obama and what little of his mystique that remains will be gone.

pedestrian on November 4, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Good news! Alvin Greene turns 35 in 2012! He’s eligible!

mankai on November 4, 2010 at 4:42 PM

We have got to start circulating the nomination petitions in all 50 states. Do you have to be a registered Democrat to enter someone in the Democrat primary?

pedestrian on November 4, 2010 at 4:55 PM

So say the ambassadors from the planet Bizarro.

Hening on November 4, 2010 at 4:58 PM

2012 is a long way off. However, given a continuing slow economic recovery, and consequential minimal improvement in the employment numbers, you can damned well bet the DNC honchos will be sending out feelers for potential challengers to Obama. The Black vote? Screw them, when did the DNC ever really care about Blacks, other than as a voting block? They’ll throw it out there as a ‘let our voters decide’.

THE ONE will continue on his current course. He’s a One-Trick-Pony and knows no other course of action. He’s not about to ‘compromise’ or ‘find common ground’ on anything the Republicans have to offer. Remember “I Won!”?

Pass the popcorn as we watch the Democrats beat each other up over who’s responsible for their current loss. The Democratic moderates need to wake up and realize that the extreme left is what caused all the damage. How long will it take them to realize the vocal minority does not reflect the wishes of a center right population?

Dean is an extremist. The DNC honchos know that. Hillary! is in the same boat, but smart enough to lean right when needed. But she’ll be 66 in 2012. Do they really want to run a 70 year old in 2016 if she were elected in 2012? Nope. The DNC is going to have to find a challenger elsewhere if they plan on using the “young” vote again.

GarandFan on November 4, 2010 at 5:00 PM

So much can happen in a year to a year and a half but I have to believe that many DNC insiders know that they have a mess on their hands in the presidency. He was not up to the job.

Lanny Davis is a good DNC soldier. He always sticks to the dem talking points, but he was stumbling last night on Hannity. He doesn’t like the guy. A couple more crisis that Obama bumbles through and it is on. There will be a challenge.

mwbri on November 4, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Howard Dean and Russ Feingold: No way will we primary Obama in 2012

Do you, Michael Corleone, renounce Satan and all his works?

Oh wait! Wrong scenario! Just had a flash of the “honest” Liberals promising one of their own something…

oldleprechaun on November 4, 2010 at 5:02 PM

I always thought the Obama primary challenger would come from the right, not the left.

It will be either Hillary or Evan Bayh. Bank on it.

Norwegian on November 4, 2010 at 5:03 PM

I’m wondering if they would be willing to put their money where their mouth is? I would take that bet.

UndertheBridge on November 4, 2010 at 5:04 PM

Otter?

darwin on November 4, 2010 at 4:26 PM

This Otter.

portlandon on November 4, 2010 at 4:28 PM

Heh. That’s who I thought he was talkin’ about, too.

Lanceman on November 4, 2010 at 5:05 PM

I’d say 50% 0bama will choose not to run, or be unable to run (ie impeachment, document issues, psychotic break, etc.)

Rebar on November 4, 2010 at 5:05 PM

AllahP deftly avoids the answer to his question by ignoring the other variable in presidential ambitions, and that is who wants to be POTUS, and already has a support base?

Hillary. Make no mistake…HRC was going to run in 2016. Now that Obama has finally been exposed as a weak sister, HRC’s calculus must show she has a good shot in 2012.

Don’t be so quick to offer up Nader as the bogeyman to put Obama on right track for the liberals. The big guns are still out there.

BobMbx on November 4, 2010 at 5:06 PM

WisRich on November 4, 2010 at 4:21 PM

I’ve spent my whole voting life trying to get him out of office. I sure as he!! hope that he’s done in WI. I don’t want him back representing WI at all.

Brat4life on November 4, 2010 at 5:11 PM

Sure, that’s what they say now. Also, never underestimate the Clintons and their vast leftwing conspiracy against Obama. LOL

JimP on November 4, 2010 at 5:13 PM

The irony of this election is that dems are not in a much of position to turn to the center/right. The moderates are pretty much out of office after this election. They do not have much beside Hillary, who can appeal to the center, but still has her progressive bona fides. Bayh will never get very far. This is not your grandparents’ Democratic Party. No wonder they are pushing illegalities to get as much done as possible (constitution rights and entitlements for illegals, de facto cap and tax through EPA, proposals for blatant voter fraud, etc.).

mwbri on November 4, 2010 at 5:17 PM

“The One will face pressure over the next two years to bend to the right.”

I predict an iminent naval battle in the Indian Ocean with Obama as the Commander of a PT boat.

percysunshine on November 4, 2010 at 5:21 PM

“…he can count on winning heavily among black voters against any primary opponent, which makes defeating him all but impossible.”

Unless the opponent is another high-profile African-American. Probably not Alvin Green, but there’s *got* to be somebody! Please?

KS Rex on November 4, 2010 at 5:23 PM

Of course Hillary will, she kicks open that door and everyone else floods in. Why Hillary? She wants it more than anything, and this is her last chance. Too old by 2016.

That’s if Bammie runs at all, he could go LBJ, -’will not run, will not accept,’ because he really doesn’t like the job, he is a lazy person and it’s way more work than he imagined, his high-maintenance wife hates it, and Republicans are going to give him a hard time the next two years.

slickwillie2001 on November 4, 2010 at 5:26 PM

I always thought the Obama primary challenger would come from the right, not the left.

It will be either Hillary or Evan Bayh. Bank on it.

Norwegian on November 4, 2010 at 5:03 PM

Strange world when Hillary is thought of as to the right of a democratic US president.

slickwillie2001 on November 4, 2010 at 5:31 PM

I think Obama deciding not to run is more likely than him being primaried. I don’t think he’d having fun anymore. He began yesterday by whining that the presidency was “a lot of work.” He’s never had to work hard before and he doesn’t like it much.
He’ll like it even less now when he can’t get everything he wants anymore and is staring across a table at John Boehner instead of Nancy Pelosi. I think he’ll quit and clear the field for Hillary hoping to land a spot on her SUpreme COurt. Or maybe just retire early and play golf full time.

Curmudgeon on November 4, 2010 at 5:48 PM

Hillary. Make no mistake…HRC was going to run in 2016. Now that Obama has finally been exposed as a weak sister, HRC’s calculus must show she has a good shot in 2012.

BobMbx on November 4, 2010 at 5:06 PM

We should be hearing leaked conversation within a couple of months if this is true.

pedestrian on November 4, 2010 at 5:57 PM

On the other hand, if the economy starts to improve

burt on November 4, 2010 at 6:06 PM

You know that the Clintons are kicking themselves six ways to Sunday for not running in 2004. Looking back, Hillary probably would have performed better than John F’n Kerry, and that little bit would have been enough.

slickwillie2001 on November 4, 2010 at 6:06 PM

Otter?

Um … I’ve lived in Idaho nearly all my life; voted for Otter for both of his terms as Gov, but I’ve never been that excited about him. Not sure he’s really good Presidential material. Surely we can do better…

Ace ODale on November 4, 2010 at 6:07 PM

On the other hand, if the economy starts to improve

It ain’t gonna happen!

burt on November 4, 2010 at 6:08 PM

There is a ton of wishful thinking by Obamaites accompanied by denial of what happeded Tuesday.

Hillary will return from her trip from nowhere to gushing Dems screaming “Save us!” She will dine with the top Clinton supporters, making sure the press is aware of each of their names. She will do it to rub in the insult to Obama. There is no love lost between the Clintons and Obama, especially after Obama’s campaign played the race card against her.

January is the official start of the 2012 presidential race, when exploratory committees can be formed. That’s when the money can come in. In the next six weeks Hillary will announce she has given great thought to her futue, that it is time for a new face to run our foreign policy, rest on her laurels as a successful??? Secretary of State, and say it is time to retire to Chappaqua.

In reality she can’t wait until 2016. She will be 69 by then and there isn’t a sufficient supply of botox in the world to handle her needs. So look for her to start her campaign soon.

Corky Boyd on November 4, 2010 at 6:17 PM

There is one man who has challenged a sitting Democratic President in a primary. And he just got re-elected Governor of California.

Mister Mets on November 4, 2010 at 6:28 PM

I predict an iminent naval battle in the Indian Ocean with Obama as the Commander of a PT boat.

percysunshine on November 4, 2010 at 5:21 PM

Oh! That’s better than attacking India! Pirates! White Republican Pirates! So Obama doesn’t feel guilty if someone dies.

petunia on November 4, 2010 at 6:43 PM

don’t know if I can take another two years of allahpundit’s liberal naïveté.
The nation remains on the cusp of an abyss the Democrats have plunged us towards. Yesterday’s QE2 decision is yet another shove, no serious signs or chance of economic recovery, and here he is imagining that two full years from now things will have been a steady-state and any of today’s political calculus will apply.
Obama’s going to be a one-term President. If he even survives that long.
And singing Feingold’s praises literally less than 48hrs after he’s been thrown out on his ass is really just quite too much. Might as well be still making nom-nom-nom noises at that idiot Meghan McCain.

rayra on November 4, 2010 at 7:15 PM

It will come from the right of the Dem party…

mjbrooks3 on November 4, 2010 at 7:28 PM

We need a serious primary challenger to Zero. He may have a billion dollar war chest in 2012. We need to somehow cost him some coin in the primary.

OTOH, I give 50-50 odds he won’t even run, because presidentin’ is hard and stuff.

stvnscott on November 4, 2010 at 8:01 PM

We need a serious primary challenger to Zero. He may have a billion dollar war chest in 2012. We need to somehow cost him some coin in the primary….

stvnscott on November 4, 2010 at 8:01 PM

That reminds me, is there a way we can close the FEC loophole that allowed him to bring in hundreds of millions in foreign donations because they were small amounts?

slickwillie2001 on November 4, 2010 at 10:34 PM

These guys are libtards, right? Well, we do know how much libtards lie, don’t we, or do we need a couple more years of how the repubs obstructed legislation?

They will run if Obozo hiccups.

belad on November 4, 2010 at 11:48 PM

If anyone runs, it will be Hillary. And we want this if nothing more than to keep the Dems from voting in out primary.

jeffn21 on November 5, 2010 at 12:09 PM