Nobody wants to take on Obama

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by Range Rover, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. On the Republican side Christie,Ryan,Jindal,Bloomberg and Perry have all said no to a 2012 run

    On the Dem side Hilary,Dean and Russ Feingold have said no to 2012

    Republicans hate him,many democrats like myself want someone else as the democratic nominee,yet many good candidates don't want to face him in 2012:(

    Would a Dem really challenge Obama?

    Some angry liberals may want to see President Barack Obama face a primary from his left in 2012, but they have no answer to a basic question: Who?

    Two of the Democratic Party's most well-known progressives – Howard Dean and Russ Feingold - have both indicated that they won't take on Obama and there are few others who have the stature and willingness to mount a credible campaign against the president. Top leaders of the institutional left say they don't want a 2012 intra-party civil war. And as disillusioned as some in Obama's base may be in the wake of his tax deal-making with Republicans - and the frustration does seem to be at a high watermark - an array of Democrats said it is unlikely the president would face a challenge from within his own party.
    "At moments of frustration or in an attempt to leverage a policy agenda, it is becoming a regular attention grabber to raise the specter of a primary challenge," said former SEIU president Andy Stern. "In the case of President Obama, it deserves to be idle chatter." (see: For White House, upside in fight with Hill Democrats)

    Stern, now a fellow at Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute, added that, "[Obama's] record, the lack of any viable alternative, and those who appropriately desire a more inclusive process make a primary challenge a bad idea."

    AFSCME President Gerald McEntee, a powerful figure in Democratic politics, also dismissed a prospect that has gained some traction in recent days on cable talk fests and in the blogosphere.

    "Look, we don't agree on everything, but President Obama has produced for working Americans," McEntee said. "Health care, banking reform, making college more affordable, keeping us out of another Great Depression, protecting vital public services - those are no small achievements. The only people I hear talking about a primary challenge are the Wall Street shills on Fox News."

    Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), who has been an outspoken critic of the White House on healthcare and more recently the tax debate, was even more to the point. (See: Liberal Dems to Obama: Fight harder)

    "No primary," Weiner wrote in an email.

    Jim Dean, Howard Dean's brother and the head of the liberal Democracy for America, said a primary "would be a stretch."

    "The reality is I don't see people stepping up to the plate," Dean said. "It would be a very, very tough slog for anybody." (See: In 2012, could Dean beat Obama?)

    That's in large part because Obama enjoys overwhelming and unwavering support among African-Americans, a pillar of the Democratic coalition.

    An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll last month found that 90 percent of blacks approved of Obama's performance while just 6 percent said they disapproved.

    "You just start out with the fact of the matter that in a Democratic primary the African-American vote is enormous, and so unless you could somehow split that one group away from him - which I doubt anybody can do - you can't possibly even put a dent in his candidacy," said longtime Democratic strategist Joe Trippi, Dean's top strategist in 2004 and a leader in the insurgent wing of the party.

    But it's not just African-Americans. As NBC's Domenico Montanaro noted, the same survey showed that the president also continues to enjoy solid approval numbers among Hispanics, young voters, those with post-graduate degrees and self-described liberals. (See: Anger of House Democrats boils over)

    Among liberal activists, though, there is very real fury at Obama following what they see as his caving to the right and agreeing to extend the income tax rates put in place by President George W. Bush. It may not be scientific, but the online poll on the popular netroots website Crooks and Liars offers an indication of the anger. Seventy-three percent — more than 7,000 people — said there should be a primary challenge against the president.

    "Two weeks ago I would've said no way Barack Obama would face a primary, but now I'm not so sure," said Darcy Burner, president of the Progressive Congressional Act Fund and former congressional candidate from Seattle.

    The sense among these progressives is that Obama isn't willing to fight for basic Democratic priorities. (See: President Obama takes on deal’s Democratic critics)

    "This is not the guy you want negotiating for you right now when you're buying a house," Jim Dean cracked.

    But even the president's most robust critics don't know who exactly could take him on.

    "The chances of Obama getting a primary challenge just went up exponentially after his tax cut deal," said Ed Fallon, a liberal activist and former member of the Iowa House who now hosts a radio show in Des Moines. But pressed on who could mount such a campaign and be competitive in the first-in-the-nation caucuses, Fallon replied: "I don't know - that's a really good question." (See: Barack Obama's tax plan could squeak by with GOP help)

    The lack of options has prompted some liberals to reach far into their imaginations for possible candidates.

    In a Washington Post Op-Ed last weekend, for example, Tikkun editor Michael Lerner offered such names as 81-year-old Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich), just-defeated first-term Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) along with LBJ aide turned PBS commentator Bill Moyers and actress Susan Sarandon.

    There doesn't appear to be a serious candidate on the horizon of the sort that could attract even modest support -- let alone the sort of backing necessary to throw a scare into Obama. (See: A primary challenge to Obama in The Arena)

    Consider the sitting presidents who have faced serious primaries in recent history. President Ford was challenged in 1976 by Ronald Reagan, a former two-term governor of the country's largest state who was the leader of a new conservative movement. Four years later, President Carter fended off Edward Kennedy, a veteran senator and household name who hailed from the first family of Democratic politics. And while he wasn't in Reagan or Kennedy territory, Pat Buchanan was a well-known TV commentator and decades-long figure in GOP politics when he challenged President Bush in 1992.

    Further, it's not yet clear that Obama would have the glaring vulnerabilities of this trio of presidents who were primaried.

    As one longtime labor strategist put it of Obama: "He ain't Carter and there ain't no Kennedy." (See: Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama: Be independent)

    "You can't beat something with nothing," continued this labor veteran, who is still working in the movement and didn't want to be named. "And in the case of Obama, you better have a whole lot of something."

    What worries some progressives, though, is the impact even a symbolic primary would have on Obama's prospects in the general election. Spending time and money defending his left flank instead of restoring his standing with independents would put the president in a very difficult position.

    "It would have to be a complete suicide mission protest candidacy -and the likeliest outcome is that you would elect a Republican president," said Trippi. "Nothing good would come of it."

    Robert Borosage, who heads the progressive Campaign for America's Future, said he couldn't imagine a primary challenge against Obama that would beat him.

    "But you could imagine a challenge that would be destructive," he said.

    But while indicating that he was opposed to the idea of a primary against Obama, Borosage said the president ought not to ignore the chatter.

    "I would hope the White House takes the talk not as empty bravado but makes clear where they're prepared to fight. They can't establish credibility by stiff-arming the base."

    In New Hampshire, which has rewarded political insurgents over the years in its presidential primary, former Democratic chair Kathy Sullivan acknowledged that she has heard the "grumbling" about Obama among activists.

    But she said she was skeptical the president would face a challenge from the left.

    "Who?" she asked. "I don't hear an answer to that question."
  2. Two years is a long way out. Relax man. [​IMG]
  3. Maverick74


    Trust me, there are more then enough people on the right that want a shot at Obama. It would be absolutely pointless to declare that now though. As soon as you say you are running you are giving your opponent 2 years to prepare for you and dig up dirt on you. It's just not a smart move. Same goes for the left. I have found historically that opponents that enter the race as late as possible tend to do the best and the ones that declare early usually don't stand a chance.
  4. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

    seriously. there is only a downside to announcing a bid to run now. no intelligent candidate would ever do it so soon.
  5. Hello


    This seems to be a concept which is lost on range rover, the guy is clueless, he voted for grayson, so that pretty much sums up his intelligence.

  6. There is also a downside to saying you're not running.Those who are planning to run aren't saying they wont run,they're avoiding the question or they say they are thinking about it but haven't made a final decision.
  7. Campaigning and fundraising starts much sooner though
  8. First, you can't give any credence whatsoever to anything these weasels say. Second, Obama will face a challenger if his disapproval rating gets and stays much above 50%. Pols know that it is hard to get reelected in that situation, and there is the very real threat he will drag down the whole party with him. Look at the effect the unpopular Bush had on republicans in '08, and he wasn't even on the ticket.

    If Obama becomes a figure of public ridicule, much as Carter became, or if the country simply decides he has to go, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see Hillary Clinton mount a challenge. Time is her big enemy. I believe she will be 69 in 2016, her next chance.

    Time is also a problem for potential challengers in either party. You can't just decide in mid 2012 to run for president. You need to line up funding, consultants, an organization, etc. The serious candidates like Romney are going 24/7 right now.

    There are plenty of potential candidates on the republican side. They will come out of the woodwork if Obama loks vulnerable. A highly polarized electorate makes the chances of someone on the more conservative side of the party better, eg Jim DeMint, Rick Perry. There is always the Palin factor, a true wildcard.

    It should be interesting.
  9. Do you think any of the possible candidates who have outright said they weren't running will run ?
  10. Washington (CNN) -- House Democrats voted Thursday not to bring up a tax package that President Barack Obama negotiated with Republicans, raising questions over the president's influence in his own party.

    All the Dems are going to challenge the Prez
    #10     Dec 9, 2010