The White House Dials 911

December 17, 2010

Last week, the nation witnessed the almost surreal spectacle of Bill Clinton’s impromptu press conference at the White House.  Hurriedly called so Clinton could publicly endorse obama’s tax compromise with the Republicans, it featured 8 minutes of the boy president staring sheepishly like some altar boy while Clinton masterfully pitched the deal Barry’d botched selling so far.  After the hen-pecked obama, fearing a spanking for keeping his harridan waiting at a party, bizarrely left the press conference, we were treated to 20+ minutes of deja vu, as the Big Dawg settled in and fielded a range of questions from Haiti, to healthcare, to the economy, to dealing with Congress, plucking detailed facts & figures from his head, even offering nuanced & well thought-out policy options.  Painfully apparent was the realization that, not only did Clinton know more about the tax plan than its chief architect, he seems to know more about everything than everybody.

(To grasp the full impact of this phenomenon, one must watch the entire video or read the transcript.)


Why Bill, Why?

So sooner had the shock worn off, than speculation began as to why Clinton, a long-time foe of tax cuts to the rich, who as president both raised taxes and created jobs all while building a budget surplus, would favor this sell-out to the greed of the richest 2% of Americans.

We can philosophize until the cows come home whether there was a quid pro quo attached, and what that might entail.  But the question on this observer’s mind is: what was Clinton doing there in the first place?  Certainly obama didn’t say, I need to speak with my old friend and trusted mentor, Bill Clinton. It must have been the White House staffers who insisted, you need to talk to this guy. Perhaps they were hoping the boy wonder might pick up a few tips from watching the old master in action.  If so, that hope went unfulfilled.


Slacker-in-Chief

What’s becoming clearer with every passing day is that obama’s sloth, ineptitude and utter indifference is making it impossible for the White House to function as an organ, or to direct an Administration.  obama’s complete unfamiliarity with drafting & passing legislation, his total lack of negotiating savvy, his poor people skills, can no longer be ignored as when he was running for president.

Truth is, even if obama could handle the job of president, he doesn’t feel like it. He’s checked out, lost in ennui.  Was it not his own senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, who warned us that Barry is  “easily bored?”

He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do.

The office of the presidency is one never-ending to-do list, some items profound (passing legislation, averting wars), some tedious (daily briefings, photo ops, press conferences.)  As obama’s early exit the other day attests, the focus of this First Family is on sumptuous parties and back-to-back-to-back vacations. The Slacker-in-Chief even played hooky one day in April, slipping out a side door without notifying his staff or the press corps, or — as some speculate, the Secret Service.  He claimed he went to watch his daughter’s non-existent? soccer game, held at an inner-city baseball field.

Honestly, wha’d y’all expect when you first dreamt of placing a lazy, self-centered, spoiled brat in the Oval Office?  The White House is paralyzed, the administration adrift, the Democrats in rebellion.  Washington burns while obama fiddles.


Dial 911

White House staff are frantically trying to light their own fire under little Nero’s butt.  Prior to President Clinton’s 911 dispatch, the lingering scuttlebutt was that Secretary Clinton should be brought in as VP, to force the boy wonder finish his homework, eat his vegetables, and complete his chores.

It may come now as a surprise to read of the increased role VP Joe Biden is playing at the White House.  Mock him if you like, but Biden has been around the block a few times, and retains excellent contacts and goodwill on Capital Hill.  If these stories are to be believed, it was Biden’s shoe leather, not Clinton’s breath, that got Congress on board the tax deal.   As one testy congressmen was quoted, “Biden brings everything that Rahm Emanuel brings, but the major difference is everyone likes Joe Biden.”  None of this will suffice in the long run, of course.  Barry simply loathes work, and no one can make him do it.

The public story line so far is that obama has suffered but a temporary setback.  Howard Dean and Axelrod of Evil hit the political shows last Sunday to insist that:  1) obama will definitely run for reelection; and,  2) no one in their right mind would even consider mounting a primary challenge.  In November, the press dutifully reported that Axel will be leaving the White House early next year to begin the reelection campaign.  A complimentary story planted last week speculated that the O12 campaign could raise — place pinky to lip — One Biiiillionnn Dollars!

Whatever this spin may or may not indicate about obama’s plans for 2012, it was meant to quash the concept that obama is a one-termer  To be viewed as a lame duck cannot help a president no one seems to take seriously anymore.  Not Democrats, not Republicans, not the media, not the public.


What About Plan B?

If Plan A fails, if things continue to spin out of control and Barry refuses to show up for work, do the party elders have a Plan B … or maybe a Plan (HR)C?  Just how desperate is the situation?

First off, forget about Hillary becoming obama’s VP. There’s no upside, only downside, for her.  It also wouldn’t do any good.

One option is to continue to muddle along as best they can, prodding Barry into occasional action, circumventing him when he refuses.  They can then play it by ear whether to cut their losses and convince Barry not to seek reelection, avoiding an increasingly likely primary challenge.  This seems to be the current plan.  It proved barely enough to salvage some legislation of the lame duck session, but it’s hard to imagine pulling it off for another two years.

Another scenario is to induce obama to step down now.  Radical as this may seem, don’t rule it out.  No one (who’s not a Republican) is benefitting from the obama presidency any more.  His handlers are exasperated, Democrats in Congress have given up on him, the media has turned on him. Even Soros now shuns him.

If Barry resigns, he gets to return to the job he was destined for: pop idol.  Biden becomes a two-year steward, makes emergency repairs, and steers the battered ship of state into dry dock.  A new VP is chosen and given prominent exposure as a key player in the administration, which amounts to a 12-month head start on their 2012 presidential run.  Speculate at will as to who this VP would be, and whether the quid pro quo speculated above comes into play.

That person, however, will most certainly not be Hillary Clinton.  In terms of influence, VP is a both a symbolic and a real step down from SoS. Nor does Hillary need the exposure — she could win a general election if it was held tomorrow.  The only scenario in which Hillary Clinton becomes VP is some variant of Agnew-Nixon-Ford, where two quick resignations propel her into the Oval Office.   Don’t hold your breath.


Which Way to the Life Rafts?

How can we little people influence the outcome of all this behind-the-scenes maneuvering? We can spread the word that BO MUST GO.  Beyond that, not much.  We’re third class passengers trapped in the steerage of an ocean liner.  We’ve felt the impact of the iceberg, and heard the screeching as it tore open the hull.  All we can do now is pray that there’s somebody up there on the bridge who’s taken ahold of the wheel.

(c) 2010 by ‘tamerlane.’  All rights reserved.

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Hillary’s Cretan Dilemma

December 7, 2010

With most of the Left finally realizing that the anticipated Unicorn & Rainbow Camelot is actually become The Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue, an ever-louder chorus of voices are speaking the previously unspeakable:  Obama should not run again.  Since Hillary Clinton was the logical, rational, best choice for president in 2008, only to be shoved aside by hopey-changey lemmings, eyes now inevitably turn to her as an alternative in 2012. While in Bahrain this week, The Secretary of State was asked yet again whether she intends on running for office. Her response:

“I think I will serve as secretary of state as my last public position, and then probably go back to advocacy, and probably on behalf of woman and children….”

This follows an appearance last month on Fox News, where Clinton declared,

“I am very happy doing what I’m doing, and I am not in any way interested in or pursuing anything in elective office….”

Despite the decided dodginess of Clinton’s full comments, the headlines blared that she had definitively promised never, ever to run again.  Never ever.  Stick-a-needle-in-my-eye never.  The dwindling ranks of obots rejoiced, while Hillary supporters lamented (with the exception of a subset who see Hillary as ‘tired’ and wish to protect her from further ‘abuse’.)  The Right, who’d love a scrum in the Dem primary, continue to praise Clinton … for the moment.  Chrissie O’Donnell officially has a girl-crush on Hillary.


Inscrutable

In truth, nothing at all can be gleaned from Clinton’s comments.  First, she deflected these questions in the most round-about way possible.  Second, the specific question on FOX was whether she’d run as obama’s VP.  Third, whatever Hillary’s true intentions, It was the only possible thing she could say.

Clinton is either:

a) definitely running, or;

b) undecided about running, or;

c) definitely not running.

Whichever is true, her on-the-record response would be the same.  It’s unthinkable for a cabinet member to publicly announce their intention to run against the sitting president.  To do so at this point would be fatal to her career.  However, even if Clinton were not considering a run, certain political advantages would still accrue by keeping people wondering.

Clinton has been deftly fouling off similar inquiries for two years now.  Only a political tyro (or Joe Biden) would do otherwise.  With her most recent statements, Hillary indulges us in three jalousies that we all know range from uncertain to preposterous:

1. obama will win a second nomination;

2. obama will win a second term;

3. obama loves Hillary so much he’ll bring her back as SoS.

Even Clinton’s professed love for her current job amounts to little.  Keep this in mind: If obama is the nominee in 2012, Clinton will not be SoS in 2013.  It goes without saying that a Republican president would not keep a Clinton in their Cabinet.   Were obama to somehow get reelected, Clinton is also out.  SoS is the prized plum. In ’08, obama offered it first to Kerry for his endorsement, then to Edwards for his, then to Clinton for her surrender.  In ’12, obama would dangle that plum before whoever could help him most.  If Hillary truly wants to keep her dream job at State, she needs to boost a protégé into the White House.


Reading Signs

With her public statements so unrevealing, what other signs can we parse to divine Hillary’s intentions?  Here are a few to ponder:

* During the recent mid-terms, Bill Clinton made a point of being seen campaigning for every Hillary delegate from 2008.  That simply could have been the right thing to do, but it may also have sent a message: Whose team do you want to play on? Whether that means Hillary Clinton ’12, or just the Clintonista candidate, is unclear.

* Evan Bayh has done everything — not seek reelection to his office, raise a ton of money, pull together a campaign team — that one does before running for president.  Bayh is a long-time Clintonista.   Whether his role is a “rabbit” to let Hillary enter the race later (with VP as the reward), or the actual Clinton Camp candidate, also remains to be seen.  If Bayh did not run, that would be noteworthy.

*  Why did the HRC 2008 campaign, which still exists as an entity, send an email last week asking for hefty donations to retire her campaign debt?   In return, the donor would receive a signed copy ($50 for paper, $250 for DVD) of her 2008 convention speech, in which, as the email reminds us, Hillary spoke of the “determination to keep going, often in the face of enormous obstacles.”  The timing is curious.  Is this a simple attempt to wipe out that debt by tapping into Hillary love agitated by the recent speculations?  Or is a way to take bearings of the level of support?

* A pronounced break with obama on foreign policy, followed by a resignation, would be the strongest indicator of an impending run by Clinton.  The State Dept. and White House have spatted frequently, most recently in September over Clinton’s comparison of the drug cartel situation in Mexico to that of Colombia two decades ago, but these differences have been smoothed over so far.  A bungling of a flare-up in the Korean situation, however, or the White House dragging its feet on wikileaks, would provide more than sufficient cause for Clinton to break with obama. If she does, stay tuned.


Job Satisfaction

Of course Secretary of State is a job Clinton truly enjoys — dealing with other grown-ups who respect you, making a real impact in crucial global issues, serving as the face of the United States, stand in stark contrast to the pettiness, backstabbing, and general insanity of party politics.  Hillary would no doubt enjoy being President, too.  It’s the road to the White House that’s unpalatable.  But here’s the deal:

1)  We need Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee in 2012 — she’s the only one who can run both as a Democrat and against the obama legacy.  She fought him in ’08, and by escaping the Senate, she is untainted by obama’s Superfund Site of toxic legislation.  Her unique broad-based appeal can also help win back the demographics alienated by the obamalonians;

2) We know Hillary can win the general election.  She currently owns the highest approvals of any potential candidate;

3) We know Hillary is eminently suited to fixing the dire condition of the Nation.  There may be others, but she has proven her abilities;

4) Hillary knows all this, too.

Whatever her designs, she cannot make a single move so long as obama remains the presumptive nominee.  Our first duty as true liberals is to ensure that Barry goes on permanent vacation.  Then ask Hillary the question again.


(c) 2010 by ‘tamerlane.’  All rights reserved.