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John Hughes

If Obama looks as if he'll lose in 2012, what about Hillary Clinton?

Approval ratings for Obama are at a historic low. Unemployment is not budging. Clinton would have to step down as secretary of State. Would it be unseemly to campaign against a president, in whose cabinet she once served? Just ask Jon Huntsman Jr.

By John Hughes / September 2, 2011

This is a pretty dismal time for President Obama.

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He campaigned on a platform to change Washington, but as he himself admitted in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, the atmosphere there is worse since he became president.

His popularity is at an all-time low. It is no surprise that many Republicans want to give him the heave-ho in 2012. He is not exactly wowing independents, and even some Democrats, especially African-Americans, are grumbling.

In The New York Times, liberal columnist Maureen Dowd complains: “He got the job by blaming Washington. But once you’re in the White House, you are Washington. It’s like the plumber who came to fix the sink waiting for the sink to fix itself.”

In The Wall Street Journal, conservative columnist Peggy Noonan opines: “He has made big mistakes.... His baseline political assumptions have proved incorrect, his calculations have turned out to be erroneous, his big decisions have turned to dust.... He thought the stimulus would turn the economy around. It didn’t.”

On the foreign-policy front, his successful decision to go after Osama bin Laden was gutsy. But throughout the Arab Spring he was indecisive. On Syria, he procrastinated before declaring that the murderous Bashar al-Assad should step down. On Libya, he led “from behind,” as one White House aide famously described it. We should all be grateful that no American lives were lost. But how many Libyan freedom fighters’ lives could have been saved by earlier US forcefulness?


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