Revenge of the Hillary

Not since Franklin Pierce lost the Democratic party nomination in 1856 has an elected incumbent president lost the chance to run for re-election, but make no mistake: Hillary Clinton has her eye on making this little bit of historical trivia repeat itself. I realize this is an unusual claim, but the facts speak for themselves.

Fact #1 : The Clintons and Obamas hate each other.

They hated each other in the primaries, and they hated each other afterwards. Obama’s nomination of Hillary Clinton to Secretary of State was merely a ploy to silence his most dangerous critic. He knew that he would be vulnerable after his election because he has promised everything to everyone. He ran as the anti-war candidate, but also as the foreign policy realist. He opposes gay marriage and is the darling of the homosexual community. He promises fiscal responsibility and expensive economic stimulus.

This is why Biden – playing the role of prophet – predicted that:

It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.

He then went on:

And he’s gonna need help. And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you – not financially to help him – we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right.

Team Obama was well aware of this danger, and that is why he appointed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. It seemed like a conciliatory gesture, the kind of thing you do to bury the hatchet. But the only thing only thing Obama planned on burying was Hillary.

As Dick Morris pointed out at The Hill: By bringing them [Hillary and Bill] into his inner circle, he has marginalized them both and sharply reduced their freedom of action. Morris goes on to describe that although Hillary retains the prestiguous office of Secretary of State most of her responsibitilies have been divvied up and given to Obama loyalists:

Former Sen. George Mitchell (D-Maine) is in charge of Arab-Israeli relations. Dennis Ross has Iran. Former U.N. Ambassador Dick Holbrooke has Pakistan and Afghanistan. And Hillary has to share her foreign policy role on the National Security Council (NSC) with Vice President Biden, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, CIA chief Leon Panetta, and NSC staffer Samantha Powers (who once called Hillary a “monster”).

He then concludes:

Once Obama’s equal — and before that his superior — she now looks tiny compared to the president. She doesn’t look like a president in waiting; she’s more like a senior staff member hoping to rise in the bureaucracy. No longer at the head of a movement or the symbol of rising women all over the world, she has faded into the State Department woodwork.

All of this must be infuriating for Bill and especially Hillary. So infuriating that it led Hillary to engage in outright revolt against her boss. She allowed leaks such as this one to the Washington Times:

Behind the scenes, the officials, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because they were discussing internal deliberations, said Mrs. Clinton had been advocating the stronger U.S. response, but the president resisted. When he finally took her advice, the aides said, he did so without informing her first.

Is there any doubt whether these “officials” were doing Hillary’s bidding? Clearly she maintains her own cadre of dedicated supporters. What’s even more telling, however, is that the leak was a continuation of her anti-Obama campaign rhetoric: Obama is naive and weak on foreign policy.

It’s like the primary war never even ended.

President Obama, for his part, has not taken this rebellious attitude lightly. In a major repudiation of Hillary’s status, Obama decided she should not accompany him on his most recent trip to Russia. As Hot Air reports, this move from Obama brought a sharp response from Hillary’s #1 proxy: Bill.

Former President Bill Clinton agreed to headline a fundraiser for Carolyn Maloney’s primary challenge to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand — after Obama endorsed her in the special election.

The Hot Air headline is right: the Clinton-Obama feud is growing.

Face #2: Obama’s popularity is in jeopardy

The House passed Obama’s cap-and-tax bill. Barely. The future in the Senate is unlikely. The health care reform bill continues to miss deadlines, and may or may not even come up for a vote before the summer recess. Analysts agree that the Obama stimulus is largely a failure, and opposition from Americans and the GOP to a third stimulus is stiffening.

Most importantly of all: Obama’s poll numbers are slipping. As I argued previously, the polls substantially overstate his popularity and the facade is in danger of cracking.

Fact #3: Hillary Clinton isn’t getting any younger, or any less ambitious

Hillary’s 2008 primary campaign was supposed to be the campaign of inevitability. Her sense of entitlement was palpable. Losing in 2008 has not crushed that ambition, and Hillary wants to be president now just as much as she did in 2008.

This MyWay news article outlines the strategy that Hillary’s ambition is taking:

Eclipsed by a globe-trotting president, a foreign policy-savvy vice president and a bevy of special envoys, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is struggling to re-emerge this week as the Obama administration’s diplomatic heavyweight.

Clinton is trying to retake center stage as the administration’s top foreign policy voice after four frustrating, low-profile weeks during which a fractured elbow forced her to cancel two overseas trips. Her diminishing presence abroad and at home, followed by her startling public criticism of the White House this week for delaying a key appointment, has prompted a flurry of speculation about whether her influence is waning inside President Barack Obama’s Cabinet.

Make no mistake: these moves have nothing to do with “her influence… inside President Barack Obama’s Cabinet”. This is the opening salvo in Clinton’s 2012 primary attack on Obama.

Hillary has not fully committed to the strategy of attempting to depose Obama in 2012. Whether or not she launches her challenge will depend on the extent to which his domestic policies fail. The template is already laid out, however.

Hillary will attack Obama from the right. She is laying the groundwork for the attack now, and she will campaign as the reincarnation of Bill: peace, prosperity, and centrism. It’s what Obama promised, but had no intention of delivering. Hillary has far more credibility than Obama ever did as a pragmatic centrist, and once the fairy tale of Obama’s presidency fades she will bet her future on that credibility.

Obama is not yet vulnerable enough for this attack, but if his polls continue to plummet for the next 4 years, he will be. More importantly: the economy will not have recovered by 2012, and Hillary will be able to campaign on the promise of a new approach to curing America’s economic malaise. In this way she will be able to minimize the direct assault on Obama – and the subsequet Democratic infighting – and emphasize her position as the third way candidate.

I’m calling it now: 2012 will be a Romney vs. Clinton battle.

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Comments

  1. Laurie says:

    Robert, your article was excellent and I could not agree more. However, I, like Sharon at 10:55 said, cannot stand Hillary. But I don't care if she does or does not run as long as a true conservative runs against her/him and is strong enough to win. Six months of this is enough for me and I am ticking off the days to election day 2012.

  2. JEFF SCHREIBER says:

    Excellent piece, Robert, and I think you're right.

    The only thing stopping a Hillary run will be an early commitment from the president to make her his new No. 2. I think it's a fair certainty that Mr. Foot-in-Mouth Disease himself, Joe Biden, will not round out Obama's ticket in 2012.

    Obama could sell her on an easy, dream team win in 2012 and then a VP's inevitability in 2016. That's the only way I see him keeping her out of this.

    Great commentary again, Robert. Makes me feel all the better about getting out of here.

    – Jeff

  3. Anonymous says:

    Those are great photos of the two "colleagues" throwing stares at each other. It's like two Shakespearean characters–Othello and Lady MacBeth, say–going at each other. The trouble here is that they aren't supposed to be in the same play.

    JV

  4. sharon says:

    Great article… I too suspect Hillary will run, how to get over the stigma of staying with him so long? Personally I cannot stand Hillary Clinton as much as Obama but that is just me…. She has many, many supporters that will look beyond her ties with the anointed one. Romney, okay, maybe… I have relatives in MA who cannot stand him and they are as conservative as I am. The health care issue will bite him…

  5. Gail B says:

    Sharon, where have you been? Jeff's going to Poland for two weeks of unpolitical bliss!

    Robert, thanks for your piece! I didn't know all that was going on, and I don't think it registered that Hillary had broken her elbow.

    My take is that there's "something" about Obama that she did not let out during the campaign which, if she runs against him, will include the fact that she has positive proof as Secretary of State that Obama was not 44!

    Hope Garfield (the cat) wins against Hillary! Buckshot is considering a bid at it. (See his campaign pic?)

    I don't believe this! The word to verify is YAPPEDD. (Yapped) Arf!

  6. sharon says:

    Jeff, what do you mean getting out of here…. did I miss something?

  7. Rix says:

    A great article overall, and a great theory regarding the "dream ticket" in 2012. I have no doubt that such ticket, aided by many factors I listed earlier, will steamroll anything Republicans can muster. I daresay, however, that Obama, who obviously sees himself as America's Chavez or at least Putin, will not want to part with power in 2016 – at least, until he is forcefully stopped.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hillary can never control her "men". She always winds up being the ennabler to their foibles. And that is exactly what she is now doing for the current "one" who has her on the same leash. She just doesn't know how to play with the big boys -esp. those willing to use fraud and thuggery to gain their ends. She still thinks nice intellectually sounding liberal explanations will sway things her way. Ha!

  9. Ryan says:

    Romney will not win the primary! He is not a conservative by any measure.

  10. Anonymous says:

    this read is good. a peek and reminder of what is really going on.

    as for the Russian trip i believe what you have said but i also believe this was a MICHELLE-MOVE, not to have Hillary along because somewhere along the line Michelle might find herself across the table from Clinton and its hard to fake hatred.

    i feel Clinton does not "hate" michelle but michelle is obviously not good at diplomacy – something a successful First Lady MUST have.

    i find a spiteful 8th-grader attitude in Michelle in not only her handling of Hillary during the campaign but on many other issues.

    Michelle is another big reason obama will not be reconsidered for a revote, not to mention personally I feel he will be declared a USURPER before the year is out.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hillary is frickin' brilliant. Did you just hear her speech on all the cable news programs? Even FOX said she was brilliant and really knows her stuff. SHE should have been President, not the know-nothing, non-citizen Obama!

  12. Garacka says:

    I've had an occasional glimmer of this story over the last few months, but they have gotten overwhelmed by the NBC, Cap&Trade Health Care, and general shredding of the Constitution issues.

    Hate to say it, but this article was almost a welcome respite. But it also suggests to the possibility that there may be more moving away from the unchosen one. It's as if we've lost confidence that not all Democrats are (take your pick) Socialist/Fascist/Communist. Who knows, maybe Democrats will prove to be our saviors….. and perhaps in that process they will reassess what they believe in.

  13. Guesswhat says:

    I hope there will be a 2012 election!! The way Usurper Obama
    is remaking America, I believe
    that he will do away with the
    President's term limit and stay in
    office indefinite!! I know thats
    a bad thought, but, look at all the
    "power" this narcissist is taking.
    But if the Usurper is discovered
    and kicked out of office, i wish
    for 2012 – Palin & Romney!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    "Hillary wants to be president now just as much as she did in 2008."

    No. WE want Hillary to be president now just as much as WE did in 2008!!

  15. P@ says:

    The Clintons are both THUGS and she is in on the cover-up with the FRAUD now in the White House…..Mr. Usurper will not last the full 4 years…I hope he is gone by the end of this year but I'm not holding my breath!!! As far as a conservative….we need to get Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman elected…they will clean house and restore our government to the people….I just want good honest leaders who want to do the right thing….they could have Romney lead the economics but we need these two gals to get us back to the straight and narrow….it won't be an easy task!!!!

    PALIN/BACHMAN 2012

  16. Amy says:

    I can't stand Obama or Hillary. I really hope the so-called dream ticket of Obama/Hillary does not happen. We need another Clinton in office about as much as we need another Bush.

    I hope and pray a good conservative steps up to the plate soon. Our nation can't withstand much more of this socialist disease that is rotting us away.

  17. Rix says:

    A joke you might like:

    It is Democratic primaries 2012 and Hillary runs against Obama. To gain Republican support in open primaries, Hillary campaign offers Rush Limbaugh $100,000 to tell on his show that she is an honest, right-to-center politician. Surprizingly, he accepts the offer.

    So it's the show time and Rush takes the mike: "Hillary Clinton is a vicious liberal snake. She an experts in lies, backstabbing, press manipulation, bribery and double deals. She has multiple ties to foreign lobbies and is known to accept illegal contributions. But compared to Barack Obama, she is an honest, right-to-center politician!"

  18. Anonymous says:

    Obama's popularity with the American people is sagging markedly. Daily polls by Rasmussen show it between -7 and -8 recently.

    His much ballyhood trips to Saudi Arabia and Russia by the MSM were not triumphs by any means. In Russia and in Saudi Arabia he was snubbed as shown in the following videos:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=x1C_
    NWMRs8Q

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=t439ru
    GCqRw&NR1

    A new post on Lame Cherry blog is something of an eye opener – Occluded Obama.

    The media is spinning the news like mad, and the dems have been scrubbing the internet furiously about Obama items that they apparently no longer want read.

    Very interrreessstingggggg…

  19. Anonymous says:

    Just put up on Citizen Wells blog:

    3 Military Officers Charge Obama With Treason

    http://www.citizenwells.blogspot.com/

  20. Anonymous says:

    Just wanted to say, even though I am not a Hillary fan, at least she is American, and despite her shady dealings in the past, I feel like our country would be less at risk with her in charge (I never thought I'd say that!).

    Nevertheless, Romney seems the best alternative. He seems to have a good economic head on his shoulders and the Republican party should rally around him as we watch the Democrats fall apart (divided against itself, will not stand?) and make sure our party is not at enmity with one another.

    Yea! Romney! 2012!

    Let's get together in support of him now because we need someone who knows how to do math!

    Huckabee is nice, and seems diplomatic but can he do math? No I don't believe.

    Obama sure can't do math (I am an attorney as well and one law school professor stated in my law class once that attorneys went into law because they can't do math!). Actually I can do math, I just don't want to be president.

    Someone who knew the difference between a billion dollars and a trillion dollars would be very useful to have in charge right now!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Well, Hillary claimed she would "annihilate" Iran is they attack Israel. Now that she's SOS, she's on the "Apology Tour". Everywhere she goes she apologizes, just like Obama. First she apologized in Mexico and claimed we are responsible for all of their troubles. Now, she goes to India (?) and claims we are the leaders in "global warming" and that we're "sorry".
    As far as Romney is concerned, I'd like to know how he's going to negate his failing health care plan? Americans are scared of socialized medicine. We are not going to go down that road again, and I wonder how he can gain our trust…among other issues I've seen brought up that are not favorable for him.

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