What if Obama quit?

posted at 10:20 am on August 21, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

I’m not talking about resignation, or just refusing to offer any proposals until after the next election.  What if Obama simply decided not to run for a second term as President?

The thought occurred to me after reading Peggy Noonan’s piece this week for the Wall Street Journal, which argues that Obama has already quit in a practical sense:

The phrase of the day is “new lows.” It blares from every screen. The number of Americans satisfied with the ways things are going hits new lows—11%. President Obama’s popularity: new lows. The Dow Jones Industrial Average this year: new lows. Maybe it will enter ordinary language. “Charlie, it’s been ages. How are you, how’s Betty?” “I’m experiencing some volatility, but she’s inching toward new lows.”

The market is dispirited. I’m wondering if the president is, too, and if that won’t carry implications for the 2012 race. You can imagine him having lunch with political advisers, hearing some unwanted advice—”Don’t go to Martha’s Vineyard!”—putting his napkin by his plate, pushing back from the table, rising, and saying in a clipped, well-modulated voice: “I’m tired. I’m going. If they want this job so much let them have it.” …

The president shows all the signs of becoming a man who, around the time he unveils his new jobs proposal in September, is going to start musing in interviews about whether anyone can be a successful president now, what with the complexity of the problems and the forces immediately arrayed, in a politically polarized age, against any specific action. That was probably his inner rationale for not coming up with a specific debt-ceiling plan: Why give the inevitable forces a target? But his refusal to produce a plan became itself the target. Reverse Midas.

Under these circumstances he could not possibly be enjoying his job. On the stump this week in the Midwest, he should have been on fire with the joy of combat, he should have had them whooping and hollering with fresh material and funny lines. But even at his feistiest, he was wilted. Distracted. Sometimes he seems to be observing himself and his interactions as opposed to being himself and having interactions. His audiences wanted to show support, it was clear, that’s why they came. But there was something tentative in their response, as if they wanted to come through for the applause line but couldn’t figure out exactly where the applause line was. The president was dropping his g’s, always a terrible sign, a kind of bowing that assumes he speaks from a great height. He also started saying “folks” again. That too is a tell. It’s the word politicians who think they’re better and brighter than normal people use when they’re trying to make normal people think they’re normal.

Nothing says that Obama has to run for a second term in office.  We have had Presidents walk away from opportunities to run for re-election.  Prior to FDR, that would include every President who didn’t run for a third term, of course, but there are examples in the post-22nd Amendment era, too.  Harry Truman was specifically exempted from the term limits imposed by the constitutional amendment but chose not to run for a second full term in 1952.  Lyndon Johnson also chose not to run for his second full term in 1968.  Both men made those choices at least in large part because they had become so unpopular that they clearly couldn’t win, especially LBJ.  Another parallel to LBJ is the effect of having an unpopular war tied around a president’s neck.

Some will scoff at the notion that Obama and his large ego would walk away from the office, but LBJ was also rumored to think pretty highly of himself.  It’s a low-probability outcome, but it isn’t a zero probability outcome.  Obama’s ratings have tanked this year along with the economy, and he hasn’t come up with an original thought on economic policy since Porkulus.  The leaks of his rumored plan sound a lot like Porkulus II, a sequel to a flop.  This gives the impression that Obama has run out of ideas, and as Noonan argues in her piece, his attacks on Republicans for their supposed refusal to pass a plan he has yet to even submit to them sounds like a man who realizes that he’s out of ideas, too.

But the decision may end up being out of his hands if the political environment doesn’t improve.  Obama’s numbers are plummeting in places Democrats can hardly afford to lose.  In Pennsylvania, where Obama will top a ticket that also includes Bob Casey’s bid for a second Senate term, he’s either at 43% approval (Quinnipiac) or at 35% (Muhlenberg).  Wisconsin turned Republican last year and a series of elections this year confirmed it, and Herb Kohl’s seat in the Senate is up for grabs.  Obama can be expected to drag down the ticket in Virginia (James Webb’s seat is open), Florida (Bill Nelson), Ohio (Sherrod Brown), Maryland (Ben Cardin), and Michigan (Debbie Stabenow).  Obama is underwater in New York and New Jersey already, two normally staunch Democratic states, both with Senate races on the line as well.  If Obama runs at the top of those tickets, he might eke out victories in the two states, but his presence on the ticket will depress Democratic turnout and might endanger Kirsten Gillibrand and Robert Menendez; Democrats would almost certainly have to spend a ton of money to bolster them that they’d normally spend elsewhere.

Democrats will be looking at a massacre in the Senate, and that’s not even including already-endangered seats in Nebraska, Missouri, Montana, and New Mexico, which just elected its first Republican woman governor last year.  Democrats could wind up losing enough seats to give Republicans a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate if Obama chases away the white working-class vote that he’s been alienating for the past two years on ObamaCare and now his disastrous economic performance.  If unemployment starts rising and growth remains low in the next few months, Democrats may insist on Obama finding a graceful exit before the primaries.

And guess who that leaves with an open path to the Democratic nomination?  Hillary Clinton.  She can step into the void with promises to return America to the economic policies of her husband.  The Left may not have much love for Hillary any longer, but she was winning the very working-class Democrats in the 2008 primaries that Obama is losing to the Republicans now.  States like Pennsylvania and Michigan would snap back into place for Democrats, and perhaps Wisconsin as well.  Having Obama off the top of the ticket would take some of the downward pressure off of some other Senate races, and Hillary would likely be a plus in most.

If Hillary took Obama’s place in 2012, Republicans would face a much tougher electoral map.  They would still have the advantage of running against Obama’s record, but the GOP may not capture that disaffected Democratic working-class vote if Hillary also ran against Obamanomics and promised a return to Clintonian prosperity.  The eventual Republican nominee would have at least a tougher task in winning those votes and the White House.  And even if Hillary lost in a general election — Democrats lost the White House in 1952 and 1968, coincidentally both times with Richard Nixon on the Republican tickets — the Democrats might save a few Senate seats with an improved turnout in key states.

All of this is entirely speculative, of course, but it’s not impossible, either.  Democrats might be loathe to push the nation’s first African-American President into an early retirement, but they may eventually balk at committing political suicide if Obama’s numbers and the economy keep going south in the next few months.  Under those conditions, even Obama might be ready to walk away without much pushing.

Update (8/22): Be sure to read some of the thoughtful commentary at the Trackback links, but I’ll especially direct you to my friend Joe Gandelman, who has a personal reminiscence about LBJ’s withdrawal that’s worth reading.

Breaking on Hot Air



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Mr. Grump on August 21, 2011 at 6:09 PM

He’s the easiest one to beat, though. You really don’t want to run against someone so loathed? I do, I can’t wait! He’s been so destructive to America that I want to see him “punished” at the ballot box like Carter was. Took Carter YEARS to recover politically from that before any one took him seriously (and a lot of re-written history).

The Puppetmasters also don’t want to see the first AA defeated, esp. by a landslide (looking that way now). I won’t be the least surprised if they don’t run him again. They will be admitting defeat which will be more embarrassing to them and to the first AA POTUS. I wonder which is the worst embarrassment for them? Admitting he’s defeated already before a run or seeing him lose in a landslide?

Aslans Girl on August 21, 2011 at 6:20 PM

by what date does O need to state that he’s not running again?

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on August 21, 2011 at 6:16 PM

Whatever that date is, I hope he announces a decision not to run the day after…If not tomorrow…

Gohawgs on August 21, 2011 at 6:22 PM

Who was who said, you wanted a black president, now you got one and he can’t pay his bills?

Wade on August 21, 2011 at 6:23 PM

My favorite scenario is that he stays put, runs and has a 50 state defeat, plunging D’rat party into a situation they cannot survive. Thus the glorious 100 year victory of socialism becomes eternal ashes because a Constitutional Republic of free men, once again, worked

Caststeel on August 21, 2011 at 6:48 PM

And guess who that leaves with an open path to the Democratic nomination? Hillary Clinton.

Cool! A chick fight. Will there be hair pulling?

davidk on August 21, 2011 at 6:55 PM

The leaks of his rumored plan sound a lot like Porkulus II, a sequel to a flop.

So, kinda like following up on Heaven’s Gate with Cutthroat Island? Or, perhaps The Adventures Of Pluto Nash after Howard The Duck (well, at least we had Lea Thompson at her hotness).

William Teach on August 21, 2011 at 7:05 PM

Promote PBHO to the UN, then, after he has resigned as President, pull all US funding from the UN and require the UN to move out of the US.

NaCly dog on August 21, 2011 at 7:06 PM

Am I the only one who doesn’t think US elections are about policies and personalities anymore, but rather about propaganda and predetermination?

How about this: I always thought Obama would win if he runs, because his first win had nothing to do with rational debate but all about propaganda. Now because he “can’t win”, he won’t run.

But he can win easily if he jogs to the right. A simple jog to the right could have short-term benefits for the economy, boost Dems in the election and can easily be undone after 2012.

So, if he doesn’t jog to the right, it won’t be his choice, but the decision of his handlers. If they are sacrificing him, that’s because they have someone or something else in mind. He will have served his purpose and will be put out to happy pasture like Al Gore and Jimmy Carter.

So, given all that conspiracy theorizing, what is the purpose of dumping a President who readlly did so much for the socialist cause, and who will they have chosen to replace him?

flicker on August 21, 2011 at 7:12 PM

Obama quit the day he was elected.

It’s been Permanent Vacation with Barry ever since.

profitsbeard on August 21, 2011 at 7:33 PM

Obama doesn’t know how to jog to the right. He is an indoctrinated leftist from the time he was born.

karenhasfreedom on August 21, 2011 at 7:34 PM

bflat879 on August 21, 2011 at 2:06 PM

This post one of the most well-thought out, articulate ones I’ve seen in a very long time.
Hubby thinks I’m nuts b-cuz I’ve said from the beginning this group makes the Nixon Administration look like Mother Theresa’s groupie-troop, and that they will nevah survive a full term of lawlessness.

Hubby says b-cuz Holder’s in charge of DOJ it will never happen, but I think the noose is tightening, and they WILL go down Uber-big. Ah, but perhaps I’m just an optimist…Either way, I still maintain a TURNIP could beat this clown in the General.

Now, if he’s primaried, I say different story. Therefore, REVERSE “Operation Chaos!” Obama ’12! (Tee hee)! Let’s get behind our Dear Leader and make sure he has 100% support…through the primaries…Hugs, gang!

Chewy the Lab on August 21, 2011 at 7:42 PM

karenhasfreedom on August 21, 2011 at 7:34 PM

If that’s true then that’s great.

But if I can imagine how to pretend to be a liberal, I’m sure Obama and his friends can
1-call for extending the Bush tax cuts permanently (though lying),
2-setting up a flat tax commission,
3-advocating Clinton’s Welfare cuts and an additional a 5% reduction in welfare spending,
4-ridding the US gov’t of all stake in GM,
5-hanging out the Fast&Furious agents to dry,
6-firing Eric Holder,
7-calling for a military-style border w/ Mexico. . . and I can go on.

He doesn’t actually have to complete any of these things, just talk about them for several months and then begin a long slow implementation. And all of them can be undone in December of 2012 — in time for his second inauguration party.

The left would understand what he’s doing, feign outrage and back him to the hilt?

You think that’s outside his skill set? I don’t know, but if I were him, I’d give it a try.

flicker on August 21, 2011 at 8:10 PM

I remember, when Obama took office, the Republicans were in complete disarray. They were looking at a Democrat as President who was being totally supported by the country, he had a filibuster proof Senate and House majorities that meant he could get anything he wanted through there. Republicans quietly voiced opposition to being shut-out by the Democrats from the stimulus package but, most had to admit (and they were reminded quite a bit) the Democrats had won so they could put their ideas of stimulus to work. The President even made a point of making fun of the Republicans, right after the stimulus passed in a speech to Democrats in Virginia, for complaining about the excessive spending in the bill, I believe he said, with a smirk and a laugh, “what do they think stimulus is?”
bflat879 on August 21, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Gosh, that is so true. I went to lunch the day of his inauguration with a couple of friends who were big Obama fans. One was normally pretty conservative and hadn’t told her husband that she was voting for Obama. They were so high on life, so thrilled that a new age of politics was about to be ushered in, and wasn’t Michelle Obama so fashionable in those colors? I had a hard time eating, believe me. All I could muster was a “hope you two are right about this guy,” and try not to wallow in my misery too much.

The Tea Party was the best thing that could have happened. I went to one in Syracuse, NY and 400 people showed up and everyone kept saying the same thing: “I’ve never been to a political rally in my life!” So many people had taken the day off or an extra long lunch and I knew, I just knew, that the movement had legs. Talk about a high and a low in just over a year.

Thanks for reminding me about the wave of goodwill Obama rode into the White House. It’s been easy to forget over the last two and a half years that had this guy been what he promised on the campaign trail, Republicans really would have been facing decades in the political wilderness.

piglet on August 21, 2011 at 8:12 PM

Thanks for reminding me about the wave of goodwill Obama rode into the White House. It’s been easy to forget over the last two and a half years that had this guy been what he promised on the campaign trail, Republicans really would have been facing decades in the political wilderness.

piglet on August 21, 2011 at 8:12 PM

Well put!

Chewy the Lab on August 21, 2011 at 8:16 PM

As much as I’d like to see Zero ride off into the sunset, I don’t want Hillary to be president, either. Since she’s been such a huge success at State, she should ride off into the sunset with her boss. I thought she might have made a deal with Zero to stay put during his first term and not run, if he would pay off her campaign debts. This would have guaranteed him not having a primary opponent. He won’t back out now. He’s bragged too much about raising $1B.

Kissmygrits on August 21, 2011 at 8:22 PM

Talk about prescient….!!!!

The Coming Resignation of Barack Obama

flyfisher on August 21, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Chewy the Lab on August 21, 2011 at 8:28 PM

I would like to ask HotAir peeps for a favor today. HillBuzz has a special action item today: Sunday Action Item: Can you please leave a comment on the YouTube video mocking Trig Palin?

In a nutshell, they are asking Americans to comment on this YouTube video (click HERE; be forewarned, it is quite irksome). Basically, a group of gay, young men sit around like the women on “The View” and opine. During the dialog, they insult and demean Trig Palin.

There is no snark I can offer that describes the flaming level of hypocrisy seen in this video. Gays want tolerance and not to be bullied, but pick on one of the sweetest creatures God ever made. As an extra bonus, it seems this was filmed at one of Chicago’s trendiest and swank establishments — and none of the producers seemed to have noted that the readings on the hypocrisy meter was off-the-charts.

Intolerance, once defined, creates it’s own intolerance.

PappyD61 on August 21, 2011 at 9:16 PM

Palin / Rubio (not a big fan of the squishy nicey-nice guy now)

Palin / West (wouldn’t solve the inexperience “gravitas” issue)

Palin / Cain (see West comment above).

Bachmann / Rubio

Bachmann / etc.

We need a historic ticket to defeat the Bamster and give Indies an out of their “white guilt” they might feel by voting out the guy. We don’t need another WHITE GUY to head the ticket.

PappyD61 on August 21, 2011 at 9:22 PM

Hillary is just as bad as Obama, very radical.. This is what Beck said, she would swoop in as the savior, after he falters.
Last thing we need is her..

reshas1 on August 21, 2011 at 10:23 PM

It was not at all “clear” that LBJ “couldn’t win.”

He was the incumbent, and no one in the history of the Republic had a longer memory, more chits to call in, or more skill in wielding raw political power than Lyndon Baines Johnson. We’re talking someone, after all, who could command the dead of Chicago and South Texas to vote in alphabetical order. He still wore the mantle of his predecessor, and he’d just been one of the most successful American presidents ever in getting his major legislative goals enacted into law despite fierce opposition. His only primary challenger, Clean Gene McCarthy, was a favorite only of the very far left, and Robert F. Kennedy, for one, had already given up on the idea of challenging LBJ in the Democratic Primaries.

The eventual Democratic nominee, who ran a fairly close race, was LBJ’s vice president, Hubert Humphrey. The eventual winner of the race, Richard Nixon, was of course in favor of continuing the Vietnam War in at least the short term, so it’s pretty hard to accept that LBJ would have lost due to an anti-war backlash.

What’s amazing about LBJ’s decision, in fact, is that he withdrew while he was still the odds-on favorite.

Beldar on August 21, 2011 at 10:24 PM

Oh — and he had blown out Goldwater and the GOP in the last election in a landslide of historic proportions, and his party had a lock on both chambers of Congress.

History remembers the dissenters, and they were loud and vocal and nasty. They were, however, still a pronounced minority of even the Democratic Party when LBJ withdrew in the early spring of 1968, long before the national violence of the summer.

If you’re under about 50, you just can’t remember how stunning a decision this was to the nation. If you didn’t live through it, it’s very hard now to evaluate it without your views being contaminated by hindsight, knowing what happened later that year and in the following half-dozen.

I was in the fourth grade, but I remember watching LBJ’s announcement with my father — a rare Texas Republican. I remember it was on a Sunday night, which was “Wide World of Disney” night “in living color” for America. My dad was utterly pole-axed by the news; I remember him wondering aloud if LBJ had gone completely insane, because it seemed so entirely out of character with the rest of LBJ’s career and it seemed so entirely unnecessary, the emotional act one would expect from a political novice instead of from the the man who, objectively, was the most skilled politician of the day.

Beldar on August 21, 2011 at 10:44 PM

Beldar @ August 21, 2011 at 10:44 PM

I was the same age, and remember Humphrey “won” in an election in my classroom. In retrospect I’ve always thought it was some health issue, because I believe LBJ died not long after.

teacherman on August 21, 2011 at 10:55 PM

Correction, after a bit of Googling: RFK had decided to stay out of the primaries until he saw McCarthy run an unexpectedly close (but still losing, 42% to 49%) race against LBJ in New Hampshire on March 12. Nevertheless, RFK’s entry into the race four days later set up a fight between him and McCarthy for the far left; unless McCarthy dropped out (and he vowed not to), RFK’s entry might well have improved LBJ’s odds rather than hurting them. But LBJ dropped out on March 31, 1968, with the announcement tucked in unexpectedly at the end of a national speech about Vietnam — still having not lost even a single primary, and indeed without ever having begun serious campaigning for re-election.

Beldar on August 21, 2011 at 10:55 PM

Whoops, used the quote thing wrong.

teacherman on August 21, 2011 at 10:56 PM

@ teacherman: Yeah, that fall I organized my entire fifth grade for a Nixon vs Humphrey mock vote, which — surprisingly, since this was rural west Texas in 1968, and the state was still overwhelmingly Democratic — Nixon won.

Beldar on August 21, 2011 at 10:58 PM

Yep, LBJ dead 5 years later. Bad heart. Might have figured Presidential strain would have done him in even earlier.

teacherman on August 21, 2011 at 10:59 PM

@ Beldar
I also don’t recall Wallace getting one vote in my NY classroom, although I vividly remember all three, Nixon, Humphrey, and Wallace on the campaign poster in the classroom. I recall that was one hell of a year in my house. Older brother graduating High School, mom terrified of Viet Nam, older sister going totally tonto…thank God for baseball.

teacherman on August 21, 2011 at 11:04 PM

Won’t happen.

The BHO team think things are awesome. Whenever he holds a rally he is surrounded by sycophants. I honestly think he thinks he’s invulnerable. When he decided to keep Geitner, I knew he is convinced that their economic strategy is popular and that people genuinely trust Timmy and O’s judgment.

mankai on August 21, 2011 at 11:25 PM

Obama quit before he ever began.

He is a charlatanesque figure, brung by operatives.

The Cash for Clunkers Pimp, and his carnival, are a self-made nightmare of the U.S. No one to blame but the voters, who allowed themselves to be fooled.

Schadenfreude on August 21, 2011 at 11:48 PM

The wheels are off the Obama bus. It’s up on the cinder blocks on some rental property in Martha’s Vineyard this weekend. It is the end of the summer of discontent for a president who’s clearly in over his head and whose wallowing is most unbecoming.

Mr. Obama’s economic policy prescriptions, textbook Keynesian mumbo jumbo, have failed. History would have been instructive had only he been learned in the discipline. Obviously, he’s not. Next month, he’ll return with yet another chapter of the novella best titled “Hocus Pocus.”

Policy failures aside, we can only wonder if America also should be worried about the mental state of this president. Just prior to his Midwestern bus tour, at a private New York fundraiser, Obama’s reported to have likened opposition to his presidency to the persecution of Martin Luther King. Then, on tour, his maudliness plunged deeper as he compared his plight to the sufferings of Abraham Lincoln.

As Gettysburg College history professor Allen C. Guelzo reminded in National Review Online, Mr. Lincoln rose to the challenge and exhibited greatness in his leadership. But, “In our current national agony … we have come to see a littleness, not a greatness, in Barack Obama. And it is not for him that we feel sorry, but for ourselves.”

For it is a tragedy of our own making.

Schadenfreude on August 21, 2011 at 11:51 PM

Libtards lack the capacity to understand how inadequate they are. Nope, he’s running.

Run Barry run!

Mojave Mark on August 22, 2011 at 12:22 AM

Perhaps Obama’s vacation, amidst so much criticism, is an admission that he’s not planning to run again anyway, so he may as well live it up on the taxpayers’ dime.

NNtrancer on August 22, 2011 at 12:25 AM

There is a big hole in the logic of the theory of Obama not standing for reelection. It’s “his” base of voters, blacks and college students, who will not turn out for Hillary in near the numbers they did for Obama. They may not turn out for him either, but she won’t be able to just add the working-class white Democrats back to an intact base.

Plus, her winning back the “Clinton Democrats” is definitely questionable. The major reason those and Democratic-leaning white independents have deserted the Democrats is health care, and national health care was Hillary’s big issue. She cannot and would not backtrack on that, and it is the spark that ignited the whole Tea Party bonfire.

If the election were held today, as they say, she would out-perform Obama somewhat. The whole Democratic brand may be toxic by this time next year, though.


Beldar is quite right that LBJ would have been the favorite for the nomination had he stayed in, although he would have no easy reelection run against Nixon and Wallace, either. He won NH by 2-1 over McCarthy, but that was a loss in the expectations game: a sitting President in those days of strong party organizations should have commanded well over 80% in his own primary. He looked weakened, which led RFK to rethink his position and throw his hat into the ring.

His entry, presuming McCarthy would stay in (and there is no reason to believe he would not), might have made the path a bit clearer for LBJ in the few remaining primaries, but LBJ knew he could win anyway since most delegates were appointed by state party people who would never defy him. Winning the nomination wouldn’t have been his problem.

LBJ and RFK hated each other’s guts, always had, and it would have been a vicious campaign. Between the northeastern liberal establishment and the McCarthy anti-war movement, he was pretty much guaranteed a divided party. He probably decided it just wasn’t worth it. He had enacted most of his Great Society agenda, and thought he could wrap up a peace treaty for Vietnam before the year was out, so his legacy as he saw it was set with that.

Adjoran on August 22, 2011 at 12:46 AM

If the Democrats force Obama out, they can say goodbye to African-American voters for a decade or more. There is no way that they will turn out for Hillary. She will be the center of all rumors about who was responsible for forcing Obama out. The Democrats have taken the African-American voting block for granted for too long as evidenced by the plight of inner city families forced to educate their children in inferior schools run by Democrats in crumbling cities run by Democrats. If the Democrats want a future at all, they will have to go down with Obama’s ship in the next election.

stefano1 on August 22, 2011 at 6:19 AM

We don’t need another WHITE GUY to head the ticket.

PappyD61 on August 21, 2011 at 9:22 PM

Zombie Reagan, it may be our best shot.

roy_batty on August 22, 2011 at 8:09 AM

This entire conversation is based on a false premise; that failure for America equals failure for Obama. This perspective misses the reality that all of the “bad” news we are hearing and reading about daily add up to Obama and his wrecking crew accomplishing what they set out to accomplish. He is winning his fight to destroy the republic from within.

MikeA on August 22, 2011 at 8:59 AM

We never seem to want to look at the forest….always a tree. Obama is simply another tree like Ried and Pelose. The problem is modern Liberalism and the big lie that it can produce Utopia.

Unfortunately conservatism must always overcome human nature to be allowed to work through capitalism. And modern liberalism always preys upon human nature and that is why the fight against it will be around forever. Liberalism wears the mask of do-goodism. It is the Trojan horse of evil whereby once let into our politics does nothing but destroy lives. For instance, would we ever once again ostracize the unwed mother even if we knew it would solve all the problems we now know comes with single mother families? We no longer have the moral spine to deal with social issues even if we know the answers. We now have a significant portion of citizens who fail to recognize what once made our nation work. And most of the problems must be handled without more laws. But when self control of religious faith was forced out of the culture, chaos entered in. Whether the Christian faith is true or nothing but fantasy, it controlled behavior in our culture that has proven so destructive.

One must ask: If once a majority of citizens fall for liberalism, can the nation ever be brought back without first the calamity of an all-out collapse? I fear that question will be answered with the next election. And it may not be pretty regardless who wins.

artman1746 on August 22, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Zombie Reagan, it may be our best shot.

roy_batty on August 22, 2011 at 8:09 AM

He’s got my vote.

I was talking to my kids about the state of the nation last night and how the Left seeks to deceive young people by using words and phrases like “the rich” and “poor granny” and “FREE healhcare”, etc…

I gave them another quick synopsis of 20th Century presidents (they asked me if Obama was the worst president in US history). When I got to Reagan, I actually got a little misty-eyed. I truly did love him. Unfortunately, he’s not coming back and Bush, Bush, Dole, Bush, Bush, McCain is an insult to his memory.

mankai on August 22, 2011 at 9:23 AM

Some will scoff at the notion that Obama and his large ego would walk away from the office, but LBJ was also rumored to think pretty highly of himself.

That is precisely why Obama just might walk away from re-election – Better to go out on top than to lose in a landslide election.

LODGE4 on August 22, 2011 at 9:43 AM

Obama says “I quit!”?

At what point is it possible that President Obama just throws up his hands and says “I quit!”? Who could blame him? Among the universal traits of all politicians is either creating a mess and leaving it for others to clean up or inheriting a mess and making it worse. Add in those other problems that are beyond a limited capability to comprehend, never mind find a workable solution for, and you have all the markings of (A) cutting and running and being labeled a coward and a fool, or (B) hanging on and assuring you will be recorded by history as arrogant, incompetent and a fool,

That seems a pretty harsh assessment so let’s look at it from a case in point basis.

When elected and faced with $100 Trillion in unfunded liabilities in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, did he address those problems? No, he decided to expend countless hours and all available political capital in essentially doubling down on that astronomical number by passing a new unfunded liability, health care “reform.” Small wonder this dog came back to bite him the next time the voters went to the polls.

When elected the nation had a cumulative debt (and this only at the Federal level) of over $8 Trillion and a deflationary housing crisis not seen since the 1930’s. Did he cut the budget? Did he rein in the Wall Street banks? Did he shut down Fannie and Freddie that along with the banks had created the housing mess? No, he shoved another $5 Trillion into the bottomless pit of government debt and deficit spending. Then as if to make things even worse he awards Ben Bernanke with another term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, giving the all clear signal to the banks to keep on keeping on with their gouging the public and the taxpayer, and paying out those huge bonuses, as unemployment rises and GDP and tax receipts fall.

It’s not just Obama and the Democrats that have chosen this path to fiscal self-destruction; they are after all, just following the European model they seem to so greatly admire. And just how is that working out? While having been eclipsed of late by the glare of events in Japan and the Middle East, financial conditions in the Euro zone continue their deterioration unabated. German/Greek bond spreads have reached almost 12% as that government seem incapable of doing anything. Irish bond yields are above 10% on rumors of coupon payment failure and increasing signals from the newly elected government is not going to go along with the ECB/IMF bank bailout program and the dictated austerity budget that came along with it. Portugal’s government appears on the verge of falling under circumstances similar to the Irish. The Italian government, already racked by their never ending corruption problems, now faces an energy crisis as they are more dependent on Libyan oil, natural gas and capital than any other European State. In just three months inflation in the UK has reached 4.4%, and that’s just the “official” number. Annualized it would be almost 18%! Never mind Belgium, they haven’t had a sitting government in six months and nobody seems to care.

When elected the situation was by no stretch of the imagination stable, but at least it wasn’t anything approaching the utter chaos we have now. I guess that Chamberlainesque apology and vacillation tour didn’t work out so well. Perhaps now sensing that those tanking approval numbers really do mean something , he has taken another swipe at the tar baby of Arab tribal warfare, only to see his UN mandate and NATO cohesion start to come apart after less than a week. The Arab League started to go wobbly almost as soon as the first bombs hit the ground; The Germans have said “no thanks” and withdrawn all their assets from the region. Although the Brits and the French remain resolute for the moment, neither has the depth of financial of military infrastructure to maintain any protracted engagement. Guess who that will leave holding the proverbial bag and with his fist firmly embedded and stuck to the tar baby?

The implications of all this for an ongoing and already disastrous domestic energy policy are all to obvious to even elaborate on.

So the question for President Obama becomes will it be A or B above? Or is there perhaps a scenario C we are not seeing? That being the possibility of the Clintons playing a Machiavellian power game just below the surface wherein Obama resigns, the bumbling Biden becomes President and appoints Hillary as his VP and then he in turn resigns for “health” reasons, handing her an unelected Presidency and an almost unassailable position in the upcoming election.

Just a thought, but I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility, or of the Clintons’ twisted machinations.

LCT688 on August 22, 2011 at 9:57 AM

This one needs a song…

I Like Dreamin’

Freelancer on August 22, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Would the black vote stay home if Obama throws in the towel?

And if Obama decided not to run again, would that mean a lot more regulation and other disruption by the executive branch, since they don’t have to worry about it staining their re-election efforts? Or is that what we’re already seeing?

hawksruleva on August 22, 2011 at 10:12 AM

That is precisely why Obama just might walk away from re-election – Better to go out on top than to lose in a landslide election.

LODGE4 on August 22, 2011 at 9:43 AM

On top of what?

Lanceman on August 22, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Obama announced his arrival in the White House was marked with the “I WON” statement setting forth that he could do what he wanted because he had the power of the presidentcy. It reminded me of the typical behavior expected of a newly elected president of a tin pot bannana republic drunk with the new power and dreams of riches.

There was the issue of the economy. It had tanked and tanked faster with each new increase in the possibility that he would become president and push his socialist ideas, taxes, and redistribution of wealth. Obama and his inexperienced advisors and appointees saw the economy as a mild recession that would improve on its own as such had historically done in the past, with them taking credit.

That out of the way, Obama pushed for his National Healthcare as his number one priority. It was his mandate as president if not from those who elected him, then those that put him there to realize the decade long goal of socialism replacing capitalism.

Since 1949 the socialist and communist have pushed for a nationalized healthcare program. The goal had little to do with healthcare then as now and more to do with advancing the goals of socialism as it destroyed capitalism, and eventually bring the nation under the rule of communism. Obama top priority was and is his healthcare program. It is essentially the reason he became president which is not so much to craft the laws, but to insure that they are signed into law and protected afterwards. Once that was done, he only job seems to be to remain in office for his full eight years as the law takes effect and becomes increasinly difficult to remove.

As a result we have seen a president that leaves us wondering what he does all day. There was that first week statement that he was surprised with how much paperwork comes across the presidents desk each day and now he seems to spend a lot of time doing anything but sitting behind that desk doing the paperwork. He seems to dislike situations such as the debt ceiling debate that takes him away from what he wants to do and makes him actually get envolved in his job and worse, actually have to make a decision on something. Of course if you are so far behind the eight ball that you are grasping at straws trying to understand and figure out what needs to be done, that is understandable.

A few months back Obama made a curious statement; that all he had to do was win the next election and then he was done. What more needs to be said as to his view of his future and mandate. The economy is a problem only as it relates to the need to be re-elected. After that is promotes socialism in that socilism is the step between capitialism and communism. Scocialism has to bring about economic failure to succeed in creating the sitution where the government must nationalize its resources and control its population to survive, and of course protect it elite and corporations they control.

The assumption of the Obama’s appears to be that he will win, one way or another. He feels comfortable that he has rich and powerful friends to insure it. He is not worried about empeachment as long as he controls one chamber of the house. It would be an underestimate of the Obama’s to think they do not understand the race card that they hold and the fear it represents to those who fear the backlash of a black president being removed from office. That is clearly evident in the lack of action on the numerous breaches of his office and questions, that would have empeached any other president in the shortest time possible.

If he wins again he his only job is to protect the health care laws and see them enacted. The rest is a life of the rich on the tax payers dollar.

If he wins, keep in mind his close attention to dictators who have democratic elections but remain in power; his attention to how revolts and revolutions progress or contained, and that little exercise to push asside the constitution of Honduras, which is still quietly being waged even today.

Franklyn on August 22, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Yet more blistering naivete from the HA crowd.

Obama is never walking away from his re-election campaign. He has no reason to. He stands a pretty good chance of being re-elected, despite everything that has gone wrong. The media created him and they will make Americans believe whatever they have to. All that we know he has screwed up has already been blamed on Republicans successfully.

The black vote will never abandon the democrats. Ever. Democrats (media, but I repeat myself) have managed to convince black voters that Republicans are racist, in spite of the overwhelming evidence that the democrats are and always have been blatantly racist in virtually everything they do. The media has been as successful at this as at anything they have ever tried.

Why are we even talking about this? Think people.

runawayyyy on August 22, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Hillary would hurt, not help Democrat electoral chances in 2012, and pretty significantly.

Obama’s Progressive policies have always polled worse than him personally. America likes him more than anything he’s done. Hillary, by contrast, has never been liked, and she vocally supports all the hated policies. Putting her on the ticket doesn’t help Obama.

MTF on August 22, 2011 at 1:40 PM

I case anyone is still reading this, let me consolidate and correct my recent thoughts on whether Obama might not run again.

One- Nobody, nobody who runs for President has the strength to not run for President a second time. The only ones, apparently, who did not run for a second term were vice-presidents who were made Presidents did not win the Presidency but inherited the office when Presidents they served under died in office. Sure, Obama was not emotionally ready to be President. He is one of the few Presidents who wasn’t a state governor. He never spent a decade in politics. He had no experience in governing; he was just a state senator and usually voted present, then he was a US Senator for only a year or two before he was recruited and started running for President. He’s not used to political governance and really doesn’t like it.

But he’ll never willingly give it up.

2- His campaigning in his first election was the icing on the cake. He was put into power by the same groups that encouraged him to run in the first place and promised him the funding, and by the MSM who “overhyped” him to the electorate. His ego was naturally big enough to allow him to run and still is big enough not to let him walk away. Remember, he has done tremendous things: again the tip of the iceberg, without destroying the “right to privacy” by which Roe v. Wade legalized abortion, he turned the right to privacy on its head, making the US government the rich uncle who pays all your bills, and therefore has a right to all your medical records (so much for privacy). And he successfully wrestled control of the US government from the Legislature into the hands of the Executive branch via unchallenged use of administrative authority and executive orders.

He can still tack to the right. He still can win with the left, with the MSM and with his donors if the alternative is a conservative.

He’s still fully electable.

3- If he doesn’t run it will be because he was told not to. In that case one is left wondering what the Left wants done next and, therefore, who will be the best person to do it.

flicker on August 22, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Ed, I appreciate the out-of-the-box thinking, but no president has stepped down from running a second term (remember, both LBJ and Truman were essentially seeking third terms), no party whose sitting president stepped down rather than run has won that election, and while Hillary might pull in more working class whites, will that offset the reaction of the Black vote to the failure of the first Black president? I think not. D.GOOCH

DGOOCH on August 22, 2011 at 5:40 PM

My favorite scenario is that he stays put, runs and has a 50 state defeat, plunging D’rat party into a situation they cannot survive. Thus the glorious 100 year victory of socialism becomes eternal ashes because a Constitutional Republic of free men, once again, worked

Caststeel on August 21, 2011 at 6:48 PM

Liberalism is the easy way out, it is an evil philosophy in many ways. It will likely never be totally defeated our current world.

scotash on August 23, 2011 at 1:40 PM