The Philadelphia Inquirer has a particularly melodramatic article today on the need for Hillary Clinton to run for president in 2012.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen such baloney. WashPo ran a more serious op-ed on the topic a couple weeks ago. And I’ll admit, I’ve seen some analysis from Sean Trende over at Real Clear Politics that gives me some doubt as to whether Obama will win in 2012. But I think any talk of Obama getting challenged or voluntarily stepping down ignores two patently obvious facts:
1) Announcing that he will step down will not improve the chances of passing a Democratic agenda. Who really believes that Republicans will suddenly give up their own political positions when they find out there is zero chance that they’ll have the same person opposite them at the negotiating table in two years? In game theory, one-off games get a lot less cooperation than repeated games.
2) Obama has pretty strong chances for re-election. InTrade puts him between 50 and 60%. That’s roughly par for the course (In the past 50 years we’ve seen 4 presidents, Johnson, Ford, Carter, and Bush I, fail to get elected to second terms, while 4, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, and Bush, did).
In short, Obama’s chances look fine, and quitting isn’t going to earn him anything in the way of political capital. To bend a phrase, those who are trying to oust him from being a candidate in 2012 are bitter, clinging to their Hillary Clintons and I Told You So’s.