Time for another Draft Hillary argument?
posted at 2:45 pm on December 19, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
It’s December. We have three weeks left before the Democrats’ first primary contest in New Hampshire. It must be time to make one more pitch to draft Hillary Clinton as the nominee, and Democratic pollsters Pat Caddell and Douglas Schoen arrive right on time at Politico:
We argued in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed piece that President Barack Obama should stand down and let Secretary of State Hillary Clinton run as the Democratic presidential nominee in 2012.
We are now calling on Democratic voters nationally — particularly in New Hampshire — to organize a write-in campaign for Clinton. This is something that New Hampshire voters have a long history of doing.
We advocate this Draft Hillary movement not because of the desire to make political mischief — but to put the country on the right course.
It’s clear that Obama has been unable to build consensus and, with the polarizing campaign he is now running, will be unable to govern effectively even if reelected. Only Clinton can commit the Democratic Party — and, indeed, the nation — to a unification and healing process. This could allow Washington, in a bipartisan manner, to finally address the economic and governmental crises that now grip America.
We are facing a crisis of national leadership, so citizens should step up and take charge of their country the way demonstrators in the Middle East did earlier this year. And, stunningly, as the people of Russia are now doing.
Say, didn’t Obama take credit for the Arab Spring? Talk about irony. Obama certainly has claimed affinity for the outbreak of Occupy protests, if not direct credit for them, which Time Magazine linked to the movements cited by Caddell and Schoen, although not very believably. I’m pretty sure that Occupiers wouldn’t be cheering for a Hillary Clinton challenge to Obama, either.
The impetus for Caddell and Schoen might be less the Middle East than the latest from middle America on Obama’s re-election chances:
President Obama will be a one-term president, said nearly half of registered voters polled by The Hill.
While 46 percent of likely voters predicted Obama will lose next year, 41 percent said he will win, a narrow margin just outside the poll’s margin of error that reflects the public’s split opinion about the president. The remaining 13 percent were unsure.
When it comes to grading his first term, 51 percent of polled voters said Obama was either a failure (37 percent) or not very successful (14 percent), while 48 percent said he was either very successful (16 percent) or somewhat successful (32 percent).
Independents are ambivalent about Obama’s re-election chances, but not about his performance:
If the 17 percent of independents who are unsure could be persuaded to break Obama’s way, they could be the key to his victory.
But that scenario looks unlikely, as a majority (54 percent) of independents think his first-term performance has been unsuccessful (18 percent said it has not been very successful and 36 percent said it has been a failure).
If Obama had better numbers, no one would be suggesting a Hillary challenge in New Hampshire, which Hillary won in 2008 in a surprise that extended the Democratic primaries considerably. However, with only three weeks to go and Hillary still at Foggy Bottom, there is zero chance that she will give any support to the idea of a write-in campaign, nor any other “draft” attempt — and without her support, no one will take this idea seriously. Like it or not, Democrats are stuck with Obama.