At a New York political event last week, Republican and Democratic office-holders were all bemoaning President Obama’s handling of the debt-ceiling crisis when someone said, “Hillary would have been a better president.”
“Every single person nodded, including the Republicans,” reported one observer.
Ah, Hillary is starting to look good once again to, well, everyone!
During the last few days, the whispers have swelled to an angry chorus of frustration about Obama’s perceived weaknesses. Many Democrats are furious and heartbroken at how ineffectual he seemed in dealing with Republican opponents over the debt ceiling, and liberals are particularly incensed by what they see as his capitulation to conservatives on fundamental liberal principles.
In Connecticut, a businessman who raised money for Obama in 2008 said, “I’m beyond disgusted.” In New Jersey, a teacher reported that even her friends in the Obama administration are grievously disillusioned with his lack of leadership—and many have begun to whisper about a Democratic challenge for the 2012 presidential nomination. “I think people are furtively hoping that Hillary runs,” she said.
And not only them, but can Obama win if he’s lost Bill Maher?
On Real Time With Bill Maher, the host said that as far as he was concerned, Obama might as well be a Republican, and added that he thought last week represented the tipping point in Obama’s presidency. Wondering if liberals have “buyer’s remorse” about Obama, Maher asked his panel whether Clinton would have been a better president.
“Yes,” replied astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium, adding that Clinton would have been “a more effective negotiator in the halls of Congress.” “She knows how to deal with difficult men,” Maher agreed.
Barack Obama is to politicians what closing time and coyote ugly is to women in bars. Democrats in every part of the political spectrum are waking up next to Barack Obama after a long night of “What was I thinking??” and wondering if they have to chew their arms off to extricate themselves gracefully.
In his New York Times Sunday Review essay “What Happened to Obama?” Emory University psychology professor Drew Westen summed up the president’s lack of experience with devastating succinctness. “Those of us who were bewitched by his eloquence on the campaign trail chose to ignore some disquieting aspects of his biography: that he had accomplished very little before he ran for president, having never run a business or a state; that he had a singularly unremarkable career as a law professor, publishing nothing in 12 years at the University of Chicago other than an autobiography; and that, before joining the United States Senate, he occasionally, as a state senator in Illinois, voted ‘present’ on difficult issues,”
How about those folk who supported Hillary in ’08?
Among Clinton fans, particularly older women, the language was frequently far more caustic. “Obama has no spine and no balls,” said a 67-year-old New Yorker. Other observers contrasted the president’s declining popularity with Clinton’s widely acclaimed performance as secretary of State. “To be blunt, her resume outshines the incumbent’s,” wrote Dickinson, noting that Clinton’s approval rating is close to 70 percent while Obama’s is around 40 percent.
And there are those political pundits who have written off a Hillary run in ’12 merely because Mrs. Clinton said she wouldn’t run. This was in the aftermath of the Wikileaks revelations. This may have damaged her creds as a foreign policy expert or at least provided a source of embarrassment. However, if the Clinton’s internal polling indicates more than the ghost of a chance, expect a “Draft Hillary” movement, where a reluctant Hillary has to be coaxed to take the nomination, for the “good of the country”.