President Barack Obama’s speech from the White House bombed, the Congressional hearings with BP was a slow motion train wreck no one could look away from, and the president’s polls have dropped to a new low.
The start alone was lame. “As we speak, our nation faces a …” Obama began. Speak? No, we listened—and did not like what we heard. Had it been a two-way conversation instead of a campaign sales pitch, the president’s infamous thin skin would have been severely chaffed.
The “strong B-plus” Obama gave himself for his first year in office has slipped so low critics on the left are as vocal as those on the right. Obama’s honeymoon with Democrats ended during the sham labeled a new transparency in government and the health care reform debate. The gulf oil spill killed the love affair.
Speculation about running Hillary Clinton in 2012 is rife as Democrats recoil from Jimmy Carter comparisons, becoming convinced of what Republicans believed in 2007—Hillary was the better choice.
Obama knows this to be true. He traded the secretary of state position for Hillary’s campaign support then gutted the power of her appointment by delegating others to do the work of past appointees who report directly to the president. She was reduced to a courier graciously received by foreign governments, and largely ignored, evidence of her outsider status in the administration. She appears unengaged and worn by a job that inhibits her pursuit of the presidency.
Clinton’s faux pas with the Russian “Easy Button,” the Queen of England’s muffed birthday greeting and the untimely Arizona immigration law suit announcement give Obama the excuse to sack her prior to the start of the next presidential campaign. He will point to her failures with Iran, China, Russia and North Korea as his first secretary of state and deflect her criticism as the words of a disgruntled former team member who failed to measure up.
Obama, confident of first term successes at home and continued popularity, isolated the most viable opponent he might face for a second-term run. Clinton is positioned to blame for predictable diplomatic failures conducting undefined and untenable negotiations with adamantly committed enemies. The unexpected wrinkle emerging from Obama’s convoluted scheme is that his drooping popularity strengthens Clinton with Democrats. Whether she resigns or is fired, she will leave her position prior to the end of Obama’s first, and only, term.
Clinton would have defeated John McCain in 2008. She may not face a candidate as easily beaten in 2012, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is not guaranteed the Republican nomination.
And that brings us to Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin’s endorsement is as good as gold for Republicans on the campaign trail. The savaging she received as John McCain’s running mate in 2008 was undeserved, but her too frequent deer-in-the-headlights appearance clearly showed she was not ready for national attention. She now directs national attention as a wildly popular speaker and conservative fund raiser.
McCain’s backers recognized her potential. She’s got plenty, and caught on quickly to the rules of the game after an unexpected promotion into the spotlight. Facing personal bankruptcy from the costs of defending frivolous lawsuits filed against her, she resigned the Alaska governor’s seat, as required by state law, to raise defense funds.
Palin is reputed to be the best thing to happen to the conservative movement since Ronald Reagan. Her positions are based upon firmly rooted, unshakeable beliefs that resonate with Americans. She refuses to adjust her message to placate supporters or detractors, as witnessed by critics reduced to misogynistic and sexist personal attacks she sheds like water off a duck’s back—and counterattacks leaving critics all wet.
She remains a wildcard, noncommittal about running for president in 2012. Her campaign style is light-years ahead of her 2008 persona, and improving, but doubts remain among Republican Party leaders. She unites disparate Tea Party factions welcomed with trepidation initially by the GOP, but party stalwarts still fear the price her contribution might reap. She’s ambitious. Her desire to be the first female president exceeds Hillary Clinton’s aspirations, but she is perceived as not ready, yet.
The 2012 elections will decide if the country continues down the progressive path to a full-service nanny state, or steps back toward independence from big government. As of today, nominating Sarah Palin for president potentially jeopardizes a Republican victory. Palin must consider the welfare of the nature before her personal ambition. She has plenty of time to prepare for the future while continuing her stellar role as a conservative speaker and fund raiser. A vice presidential slot preceding her candidacy for the top office in the land benefits Palin, Republicans and conservatives.