President Obama will be challenged in the 2012 primaries. You can count on it. His hands-off approach to leadership has been a near-disaster for the Democratic Party, which took almost ten years to regain its 'credibility' and take back the White House and Congress. Now it appears that the President is rightfully being hammered over his lack of response to the Gulf oil spill. But there's more. From terror, to the economy, to even health care, the left is angry at him for being unable to provide real leadership. His approval is likely going to slide into the low-to-mid forties, and unless he gets a plan together, he's not going to get it higher.
Which sets the stage for Hillary Clinton.
There's a rumor out there that she wants to leave her current position as Secretary of State. During her tenure she has traveled around the world with a high (and relatively uncritical) profile. She has not had to cast any controversial votes in the Senate and is able to show herself as above the fray of the chaotic Obama Administration.
She's probably waiting for a trigger of some sort. Probably she's hoping for a GOP landslide in November. A GOP comeback, coupled with Obama's ratings below forty percent, is likely to allow her to jump into the race in January 2011.
She likely has some pretty potent talking points lined up:
1. I Told You He Was Inexperienced: This will be the big one. From the oil spill to terror to the economy to the health care plan, she's going to harp on the fact that since Senator Obama barely knew what he was doing in Congress, he wasn't able to bring any discernable skill to the White House.
2. I've Got Foreign Policy Credibility: Might sound crazy, but compared to President Obama, she has it in spades. Her campaign commercials can show her with all sorts of foreign leaders signing important treaties.
3. He's Clueless on Terrorism: In the Times Square and Christmas Day plots, the Administration's response was lackluster. Whether it be the terrorist resurgence in Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, or Afghanistan, Hillary will be able to portray herself as a hawk. In addition, Obama's shameful lack of action towards Iran will be seen as his downfall, especially if they get the bomb anytime soon.
4. I Will Fix the Economy: This is likely the number two message. It will be in almost everything she says. Her husband (rightfully or not) earned high marks for handling the economy. With unemployment near 10% and the debt out of control, she can argue that no matter what she does, she could do a better job.
Remember, Hillary did not dismantle her 2008 campaign. She simply 'suspended' her campaign. Parts are still active and with a two-month incubation period, could get back off the ground. Prepare to see a major battle next year-- with Hillary coming out on top.
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