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Should President Obama Face a Primary Challenge: Will Republicans Miss their Chance? Options
Posted: Friday, August 12, 2011 8:43:22 PM
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Joined: 2/13/2010
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Sifting through the aftermath of the debt ceiling circus, and its (potential) effects on the approaching US political season (the Quadrennial Madness one might call it):

1. Should Barack Obama face a primary challenge:


a. Seldom has a leader been as badly bludgeoned in what he would term "negotiations" and what some in his own party would term unconditional surrenders. I've no small amount of sympathy for the situations he's faced with a solid wall of "no" since he took office. Still, no sooner had I got the bitter taste of the budget capitulation of last December out of my mouth than I watched in dismay the debt ceiling unfold.

Why didn't the President call the bluff? Bill Clinton would have. He did. He allowed his enemies to shut the government down, and their reputations and fortunes were wrecked on the shoals of outraged public opinion.

Why not go to the people, remind them that the ceiling has been raised dozens of times previously. Make certain to assign blame, demand a "clean vote" on the ceiling, and then wait for them to blink. I believe the would have.

Why not, as I and others suggested early on, apply the 14th amendment?

The deal we ended up with isn't totally without merit. I'd enjoy a standoff where the right will squirm knowing that the Pentagon will endure huge automatic cuts if there is no deal. Watching them caught between their deep-pocketed military contractor contributors on one side and the no-new-taxes-now-or-ever-amen crowd would be a feast for my soul. But.

This is no way to govern, and what confidence the public and that creditors, friends and foes have in our strength will further be diminished. Ultimately, there would be no joy in the spectacle of dysfunction where the US government used to be.

b. The President was elected on optimism and hope. But more and more, beat down by the weight of office, his message has become more pedantic, he is starting to lecture. He treads dangerously close to making his own "Mailaise" speech, ala Carter.


Only one reason is needed: blood in the water. The strength of incumbency is a united party behind the leader. While democrats can take soundbites from one opponent trashing another to use against the eventual Republican nominee, there is no such opportunity for the other side...unless there is a brusing primary. Also, the Republican is sure to be well-funded. What might even the odds a bit would be the luxury of Obama being able to build his war chest while opponents spend against each other.


a "progressive" third party candidacy. Bush won over Gore by a miniscule margin. I'd still like to know what might have happened had that bumbling Quixotic figure named Nader not skimmed a couple vital percent of the vote. He's making noise again...what is he, 104. Sit this one out please.

2. Will Republicans be able to take advantage of Obama's Struggles?


a. Reagan was a likeable man, even if you hated his policies. He exuded optimism. The host of republican hopefuls are venomous and anything but charismatic. They don't even inspire their own base, let alone the rest of us. It's early, but so Drew's recent thread pointed out...not ready for prime-time.

b. Reagan exuded common sense. The man had deeply held convictions, but, he could and did compromise, make common cause with his opponents for the nation's welfare and for progress.

i. He could and did reverse course and raise taxes.
ii. Reagan, a conservative republican, worked with Tip O'Neil to save Social Security, not to dismantle it or privatize it.

I have a feeling that if you took a list of his actions and policies as President, especially his second term, he'd be termed a RINO or a socialist. He wouldn't recognize the Jimmy Jones character of his own party.

Anyway, I don't see a leader for the whole country in that crowd. I see people that will serve their base, but, that is 30% of the nation. That isn't what a leader does.


I ask,

Should Obama have a primary challenge, and given his weakened state, will Republicans find a way to re-elect him in spite of themselves? You know my opinions, what are yours?

Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2011 5:32:13 AM
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Joined: 2/20/2011
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Location: Spain
It all makes sense -but the big question you are putting forward is whether they are to manage to come together.

I wish they would, but I cannot see how, honest. It entails a high degree of political maturity, and it seems some of them have not even come of age yet -like so many other politicians elsewhere. Cheers.
Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2011 6:23:52 AM
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Location: Florida, U.S.A.
With all due respect, if President Obama can not stand up to the G.O.P., then he should step aside and give Hilary Rodham Clinton a chance at the presidency. With her husband Bill behind her to help govern, I'm sure she, in no uncertain terms and better than anyone else, could stand up to the Republicans.
Joseph Glantz
Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2011 7:10:23 AM
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Joined: 3/18/2009
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Location: United States
Bloomberg needs to run as an Independent. That's the best way of sucking the energy and the voters away from the GOP. Indepdendents can't win but they can change the conversation.
Mr. Soria
Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2011 2:59:30 PM
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Location: United States
Joseph Glantz
Posted: Sunday, August 14, 2011 5:41:33 AM
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Joined: 3/18/2009
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Location: United States
Actually, the more fascinating strategy would be for Obama to dump Biden and choose Bloomberg.
Klaas V
Posted: Sunday, August 14, 2011 6:36:50 AM

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Joined: 7/12/2010
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