A year ago, Washington rumors had Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton switching jobs for 2012, and that was before the Tea Party wrecking crew came in, brought government to a standstill and created an anti-Obama climate that threatens a hostile takeover of the White House next year. (President Perry? Cain? A compliant Romney?)
The idea was dismissed out of hand back then, even though Bob Woodward, after months researching an Obama book, said, “It's on the table. And some of Hillary Clinton's advisers see it as a real possibility in 2012. President Obama needs some of the women, Latinos, retirees that she did so well with during the 2008 primaries...The other interesting question is, Hillary Clinton could run in her own right in 2016 and be younger than Ronald Reagan when he was elected president.”
For an election that will define America for decades ahead, it’s no comfort that the President is still ahead of Congress in the approval race to the bottom and raising tons of money from Wall Street (even Romney’s old firm). Disillusioned Democrats and Independents will need every bit of reassurance they can get that the crazies won’t take over the country.
Such a switch in running mates would be seen by cynics as a “Dump Biden” movement, but the potential positives far outweigh such carping. For a start, Hillary Clinton’s presence on the ticket would point up Obama’s foreign policy successes—-taking out bin Laden and drawing down troops, however slowly, from Iraq and Afghanistan—-and point up GOP empty rhetoric on the subject. And Biden’s long Senate experience would serve him well at the State Department.
As Secretary, Mrs. Clinton has been reassuringly firm and resolute, qualities not overabundant in the Obama era, and as a running mate, she could help restore whatever hope and confidence remain from 2008.
In an era of total disarray in traditional politics across the spectrum, an Obama-Clinton ticket would be a reassuring reminder that “Now is the time for all good men [and women] to come to the aid of their party.”
If they don’t, Heaven help us.
Update: An analysis in the Caucus observes: “The challenge for the president and his advisers in the coming year is to figure out how use his success in foreign policy and war-fighting to offset his difficulties elsewhere.”
How better than to put his foreign-policy commander on the ticket with him?