Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Make the Switch: A 2011 Meme in the Making

Biden out, Hillary in as V.P.?

But this, this is madness!

Madness? This. Is. Old news! 

But there's a flip side to the good news. Once his midterm penance is finished Obama will have to return to the job of governing, and he'll have to do it with a vice president who is pretty clearly out of step with one of the key tenants of his foreign policy. From Biden's perspective, he'll know just what his boss actually thinks of him and everyone in town will know nothing Biden says carries any weight what-so-ever.

It seems that the best solution would be, after the mid terms, Biden and Obama should both to begin quietly hinting that the V.P. may be considering retirement in December of 2012. From there either elevate Hillary or go outside the box and appoint Petraeus.

That was me, back on July 15th. Now Douglas Wilder has taken up the meme:

During Biden’s June trip to Florida, for example, the presumptive Democratic gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink, was so upset that she told POLITICO the whole trip was a “screw-up” and she was “embarrassed” by his speech. The Democratic Party is trying to elect this woman governor of a swing state — one Obama will need in 2012 — during the middle of the oil spill crisis in the Gulf. No vice president should leave such ignominy in his wake.

A few weeks later, Biden comes south and says at a fundraiser, “[T]he heavy lifting is over,” and now the campaigning can begin.

Really? Has the crude oil off the Gulf Coast disappeared? Is the unemployment rate back to its mid-1990s lows? Is the deficit magically under control? Are the president’s approval ratings in the mid-60s? Do large majorities of Americans believe we are on the right track?

I don’t think so. But none of that seems to matter to Biden. People around this country are hurting, and Biden has told them Democrats in Congress and the White House have done all they can or will for them.

As BP chief executive, Tony Hayward said he wanted his life back, then went off on his yacht. The BP board wisely replaced him. What’s so different about Biden saying, in the middle of several crises, that he wants to get back to politics when the people are craving leadership?

Has Biden ended these 18 months with the stature of a man ready and able to be president should the moment call for it? The answer, sadly, is “no.”

I say none of this to detract from Biden’s service to the people of Delaware through his many years in the Senate. But these times demand our country’s best. If Democrats and the president don’t see this, the people will look elsewhere.

Can all the president’s political ills be laid at Biden’s feet? No. But Obama must look through his administration and make a wholesale change. The vice president should not be immune.

Clinton is better suited as the political and government partner that Obama needs.

I suggest this as one who vigorously supported Obama over Clinton in 2008. In fact, I campaigned across the country and engaged in spirited debates with former colleagues. I don’t regret any of that. Yet, now I think Clinton brings bounty to the political table that few can match.

If both John McCain and Obama were given a sip of truth serum, both would admit they made serious mistakes in choosing running mates in 2008.

McCain can’t do anything about his blunder. Obama can and should

Read more:

My thoughts, almost exactly. I think Wilder downplays the apparent daylight that exists between Biden and Obama when it comes to the war in Afghanistan, but overall I think Wilder is correct that the time has come for Joe Biden to step back and for Hillary Clinton to step up.

It is highly unlikely that Clinton would want another turn at Foggy Bottom, so that leaves both the SECSTATE and SECDEF jobs will have to be filled during the next Obama administration. It only stands to reason that Biden could take over at either the State Department or the Pentagon and Clinton could easily slip into the V.P. slot.


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