For Obama, who needs enemies with friends like Ed Rendell and Doug Wilder?
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell has said that President Obama could face a Democratic challenge in the 2012 presidential election. Former Virginia Gov. Doug Wilder suggests that Mr. Obama should dump Vice President Joe Biden. Both are Democrats.
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Still, there’s not been a hint that Secretary of State Clinton is actually considering such a disloyal act as challenging the boss for the top spot in 2012. (Though former Monitor editor John Hughes suggested the possibility in an Aug. 2 column.)Skip to next paragraph
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Equally as unlikely is a suggestion from former Virginia Gov. Doug Wilder (D) that Obama might do well to replace Biden on the ticket with ... Hillary Clinton.
Mr. Wilder, the first elected black governor in the country, thinks Biden’s gaffe habit hurts Obama and that putting Clinton on the ticket would bring back Obama’s 2008 themes of audacity and change. Wilder gives Clinton high marks for her performance at State, and suggests she could help Obama win back middle-class independents. Clinton also has far higher job approval ratings (above 60 percent) than both Obama and Biden (mired in the 40s).
The idea of swapping out veeps often surfaces when a first-term president is struggling (see Bush-Quayle 1992 and Bush-Cheney 1996), but in modern times it’s never happened. It could make the president look disloyal and flaky. And besides, political scientists remind us, voters don’t vote for the veep, they vote for the top of the ticket.
And what’s up with Wilder? He is fiercely independent. In July 2009, when Obama was doing whatever he could to help Democrat Creigh Deeds win his Virginia gubernatorial race, the White House dispatched political director Patrick Gaspard to Richmond to urge Wilder to endorse Mr. Deeds and help turn out the critical black vote.
“Tell me what the man has done?” Wilder said, according to Politico. “I haven’t heard it.”
Wilder never endorsed Deeds, who lost to now-Gov. Bob McDonnell (R).
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