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Thursday, September 06, 2012

Slow Joe seems secure

My blogospheric friend Dafydd ab Hugh asked earlier this week if I would be just a little bit disappointed if U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did indeed turn up in Timor-Leste and Brunei today, as scheduled, instead of in Charlotte, NC, to replace Slow Joe Biden as President Obama's running mate for the 2012 presidential election. As I answered him then,

I will be relieved if my prediction is false, not disappointed. I want Obama to lose, and I think replacing Biden with Hillary could and would help him win.

I'd like to be able to say "I told you so" if Hillary shows up on stage in Charlotte on Thursday night, but not remotely enough to wish, even a little, for something that would improve Obama's reelection chances.

I will concede only that if Obama does win, I would very much prefer for Joe Biden no longer to be first in the line of presidential succession....

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enjoys a cup of coffee as she tours the Timor Coffee Cooperative in Dili, East Timor, Sept. 6, 2012 (fair use photo credit: AP) via http://www.cbsnews.comMultiple news organizations are reporting that the SecState is indeed on schedule, and the AP photo at right purports to show Mrs. Clinton as she "enjoys a cup of coffee as she tours the Timor Coffee Cooperative in Dili, East Timor, Sept. 6, 2012." That is indeed enough to overcome my residual conspiracy-theory paranoia. Short of the Air Force strapping Mrs. Clinton into an SR-71 Blackbird, I don't think she could be in Charlotte in time to accept the Dems' nomination. That doesn't, of course, rule out a last-minute switch to someone else as a Biden replacement, but anyone else would be harder for the Democratic voting public to embrace spontaneously.

There is still a very, very, very remote chance that Obama could replace Biden before election day, but they're very close to ballot-printing deadlines across the country. If he had wanted to pull off a surprise comparable to the bin Ladin raid, the convention would have been the time for Obama to do it. So I think Slow Joe can breathe easy.

And as I predicted to Dafydd, I am indeed relieved, and I am very happy to contemplate, with chortles and chuckles, the prospect of the current Vice President debating he whom I believe should be the next one, Paul Ryan, in due course. Obama keeping Biden guarantees the maximum contrast in competency, and that Romney will get the most possible benefit from his Veep pick.

I think political wonks will someday mark this missed opportunity as the moment when Obama's political savvy finally finished turning from stainless steel to rust. The Dems will surely lick their wounds and re-write their convention rules and primary schedule and delegate selection procedures for 2016 โ€” presumably to Clintonista specifications โ€” during 2013-2014, when they take steps to prevent another accidental presidency by someone who's still coasting on fumes from one really good speech or exploiting one really appealing new angle. And some of them will wonder what might have been if only Obama had been slightly more adventurous, slightly more honest with himself about the risks of keeping Slow Joe, back in September 2012. As when the Dems recovered from the disastrous McGovern candidacy in 1972, as a party they'll surely tack more toward the center to return to competitiveness. That will probably be a good thing overall for the two-party system and for the country, and I support both.

"Bold and brittle talk, Beldar," you may say, "from one just proved so wrong." That may be, and this isn't the first time one of my predictions has come a cropper. But why should I lament the failure of my political opponents to exploit an opportunity that I saw, but that they, apparently, chose not to follow?

Just in case, though: I really, really do hope that President Obama has finally really given up smoking.

Posted by Beldar at 02:13 PM in 2012 Election, Humor, Obama, Politics (2012), Romney, Ryan | Permalink


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(1) great unknown made the following comment | Sep 6, 2012 3:38:13 PM | Permalink

I don't think he can jettison Joltin' Joe under the ADA. Remember, this is the Administration who was soliciting DOJ applications from the "intellectually challenged."

(2) Dafydd the Despoiler of Clintons made the following comment | Sep 6, 2012 4:04:29 PM | Permalink


Years ago on Big Lizards -- I misremember just when, but a couple of years or more before the 2008 election -- I predicted that Hillary Rodham Clinton Rodham would never be the Democratic nominee for president. I stand by that prediction.

First, in 2016, she will be 68 years old. While that's not necessarily a deal killer, she has not aged well and is unlikely to become any younger over the next four years. By the next presidential cycle, HRCR will look like Bella Abzug on a bad-hair day. (Perhaps I'm being too harsh; Clinton could always wear a wig.)

Worse, every year, her voice sounds more like Phyllis Diller; by the next election, she will sound like a mechanical harpy built entirely of rusty paint strippers and mismatched, pig-iron gears.

And of course, the notoriously vindictive, grudge-holding Rodham has had many years now to swallow bile at having been evicted from la Casa Blanca when Billery's term expired. Can you imagine, in your wildest, Hieronymus Boschian fever-dreams, the length of her enemies list? And I'm just talking about the Democrats on it!

Talk about "Hell to pay!"

I cannot imagine that any future smoke-filled, Democrat-filled room would seriously consider nominating a female Travis Bickel to be their standard bearer; a woman whose vendetta list certainly includes everybody remotely associated with Obamunism, and likely anybody even more remotely connected to Nancy Pelosi, Harry "Pinky" Reid, any Democrat currently in Congress, John Kerry (he's on the list twice), and of course, Algore. Plus the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awarded the Evil One a Nobel Peace Prize for not being George W. Bush -- and not being Hillary Rodham, neither.

The DNC would no more nominate Hillary than it would Al Franken, Michael Moore, or Janet Napolitano. (Or Joe Biden either, though for quite different reasons; is there any legal way to enact an intelligence test for presidential candidates?)


(3) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Sep 7, 2012 12:14:08 AM | Permalink

Dear Dafydd: I think your good points are overstated. 68 is a bit ripe, but the precedents have been set with Reagan. Too after The Won's youthful imbecility, grey hair will not be a disqualifier, not even if it is accompanied by fifty shades of Billyboy.

Next, "you can't beat something with nothing." Where's the something to beat the Rodham juggernaut? As Walter Mondale proved in 1984, Democrats aren't immune from the Bob Dole "it's my turn" syndrome. The Won and the minions in his Administration will be hopelessly mired in defeat to be credible, not least because of the thumping whinygoat The Won promises to be---for 30 odd years at vast taxpayer expense---as ex-Prez. What other hotshots do you have in mind? Martin "Things are worse off than they were 4 years ago, no they are better" O'Malley of Maryland? Cory "I'll say what I want until Axle Grease beats on me, then I'll recant" Booker of New Jersey? Bloomberg? The list is ridiculous. Only if you believe that a Romney administration will discredit conservatism as The Won has discredited liberalism do you have any kind of fertile ground for a "Third Way/New Democrat" candidate in the manner of Tony Blair.

Will Rodham run? Search me. She may be tired out, fed up with Billyboy and his antics. But if she wants the 2016 nomination, her competitors will be hard pressed to stop her.

Dear Mr. Dyer: I don't have the same fear of Joe as Prez as you do. I still maintain he has a solid core to him, as his rising above the death of his first wife and small daughter show. That tragedy is far more than The Won has ever had to endure. Would I vote for Joe? Not in ten trillion years. But the country could struggle along with him. I have every hope that he will not be called, if only because his ascension would necessarily mean The Won's apotheosis in the manner of the Kennedy bros. For all the irritation The Won's post-Prez career will bring, he will be haunted by failure for the rest of his days. I don't see Michelle the Moocher being a soothing helpmeet for him, either. Rather she'll be her usual battleaxe self, constantly criticizing him for being a screwup not worthy of her, endlessly goading him to make more dough to support her. This too, is a fitting end for The Won.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

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