May 1, 2011

"What if O doesn’t run? Says he’s done what came to do. New Dem cand. untaintd by job #s. O can run again later."

Tweeted Mickey Kaus yesterday, picked up by Hot Air and Instapundit.

Back on April 3 — I hope you all know — I said Obama should not want to run in 2012:
If he is reelected, then that will be the end of running for President. He'll be 54 years old, and what will he do? Move to Hawaii and play golf? But he could move to Hawaii and play golf in January 2013, if that's an enticing prospect. And, if he does, he won't have maxed out his eligibility for being President. He can tantalize us, year after year, with the possibility that he would run for another term — a fascinatingly out-of-sequence term. The thing he's best at is running for President. Why let that game expire? He could toy with it in 2016, when he's 58, and in 2020, when he's a clear-visioned 62, and in 2024, when he's a well-seasoned 66, and in 2028, when he's a beneficent elder, offering his services once again, because his country longs for the golden days of 2011. It will never end, as long as the icon of hope and change — oh, my lord, I typo'd "hope and chains"! — walks the face of the earth... unless he serves that second term.

(Idea originally suggested by Meade....)
ADDED: I'm not saying Mickey stole my idea. In fact, our ideas are completely different (except for picturing Obama not running). Mickey portrays Obama as a big old failure who ought to get out gracefully and give another Democrat a clean shot. Meade and I were fantasizing from Obama's perspective — what his life really feels like to him and how to milk the pleasure of being Obama for all it's worth.


rsb said...
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Mark O said...

I feel certain that's what will happen. NOT.

deborah said...

Not running would be the surest way to seal his sainthood.

pbAndj said...

Writing a post is the new way of dating a genius idea by mailing it to yourself.

Don't worry Althouse, you and Meade get credit for inventing this idea.

Kevin said...

If he doesn't run this time, he'll never be elected President again. The only way he is going to win this time is by using every advantage of incumbency to do so.

He is no longer the empty vessel that people can pour their hopes and aspirations into, like he was in 2008.

Big Mike said...

If Obama doesn't run for a second term, it puts the Democrats who would like to run for president in a terrible bind. The Republican candidate can run on the obvious need to clean up the economic mess, get gasoline prices back down by increasing drilling in the Gulf and in Alaska; get the deficit down; get food prices down; deregulate; repeal the bulk of Obamacare, etc., etc.

But can a Democrat run on the need to clean up the mess? Not in the primaries, that's for certain. And after the primaries? Will anyone believe their message?

The Democrat's choice will come down to running against Obama's record, or trying to defend it. Can you say electoral college wipeout?

rhhardin said...

Trump likes Hillary.

AllenS said...

Trump needs to say he's now running for the Democratic nomination. The debates during the primaries would be a gas. Great entertainment value. Made for TV.

F4GIB said...

In 2012 Obama will have NO coattails. Change won't have happened and hope will be gone. Results will be desired by the electorate.

He'll wind up facing 4 years against a Republican Senate and a Republican House. Either he'll have to sign stuff he hates or go down in history as "Mr. Veto." A legacy of negativism does not lead to the kind of reputation he so desires.

Go out a winner on Obamacare (drum roll, trumpets, cheers). Run fast away from the economic fallout.

Anonymous said...

Ever wondered why and how ex-presidents get to rich.

One day the Clintons were empty pockets needing donations to pay for their legal defense.

Afterwards he becomes a ga-zillionare.

Here's how it works.

Person A received a favor from Bill and needs to repay him.

Person B wants a favor from Bill.

Bill tells person A to pay person B. A has then paid off his debt, B has her favor, now B moves to position of A, as owing a payment to Bill.

Rinse and repeat.

Nothing ever touched or went through Bill.

But after it is all over a few years down the road, Bill collects all the person As himself.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"...offering his services once again,..."


What exactly does 'This One' offer besides grievance politics/how can we get even with 'em-ism?

I have never been so disappointed in a president and his utter failure to be a proper steward of the office. He brings a certain tribalism that leaves most wondering exactly what country He thinks he's monarch of.

Wishful thinking if you believe he won't run again. His ego won't let him, not.

Paddy O said...

The Jerry Brown strategy.

Ann Althouse said...

"Writing a post is the new way of dating a genius idea by mailing it to yourself. Don't worry Althouse, you and Meade get credit for inventing this idea."

Thanks for pushing me to do an update saying why our idea was completely different from Kaus's.

pbAndj said...

Thanks for the update that, for a moment, looked like it was going in a totally new direction.

"Meade and I were fantasizing..."

For a moment I thought Althouse was going to share a role playing experience based on advice from one of those women's magazines that have covers plugging their sex tips. Some of those covers do seem to get her attention.

Jason (the commenter) said...

If Obama skips the next election and runs again, there's the possibility he could have two Presidential libraries! (which will both be completely empty for "national security" reasons)

Fen said...
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tim maguire said...

If he doesn't run again, he will most certainly NOT be enticing anybody (except maybe Michelle) with the prospect of eligibility.

I think he'll run again for purely egotistical purposes. I don't think he likes being president, being president requires that you actually do stuff--never his strong suit--but not running will leave the obvious specter of anticipatory failure hanging over him the rest of his life.

Not just the ignominy of a single term, but the cowardice of not even trying.

Fen said...

Not running would be the surest way to seal his sainthood.

I think the Dems are hoping for assasination so they can be rid of him but still deify him and gain the righteous high ground. More myth-making, just like JFK. His presidency would have been remembered next to Carter had he not been martyred.

Hagar said...

Obama as the űber-Carter?

I wish the Professor had not given me this vision for my declining years!

edutcher said...

Little Zero is no Grover Cleveland. He would be leaving the country in as bad a shape (if not possibly worse) than Herbert Hoover in '32.

The election will not only be about him, but the Democrat Congress as well, in the sense that a Demo-controlled Senate would be a bar to any real reform of the mess he, Dingy Harry, and Pelosi Galore have made. Abdication by him would look like the rat deserting the sinking ship and would do the Demos in as a party.

The party would never forgive him and he would be banished to the furnished room over George Soros' garage for life. Any idea of running again would be like running Jimmy Carter again.

A dream scenario for Conservatives, but not ruddy likely, as Will and Kate would say.

Drew said...

But can a Democrat run on the need to clean up the mess? Not in the primaries, that's for certain. And after the primaries? Will anyone believe their message?

On the contrary. If Obama decides not to run, aside from the fact that I will cheer up immediately is the fact that both GOP and Dem candidates can run on cleaning up the mess he made. Democrats will be able to easily distance themselves from him because he won't be around and they won't be forced to work with him/against him.

I also think that if the Democrats want to actually win an election in the next 20 years, the best thing that could happen is Obama deciding not to run. As it stands, the Democratic party is pretty much dead in the water and will probably never again win the Oval Office.

Paddy O said...

So... Termers?

Paddy O said...


Old Dad said...

Ok, here's how the fantasy plays out. Obama knows he sucks, but is too chicken shit to admit it. He hates his job, so he plays at campaigning and golf. His ego won't let him quit outright, so he plays the long shot that the economy will magically recover and sweep him to a second term that he dreads but that Michelle relishes.

The economy tanks again, as he secretly hopes, and his poll numbers tank, too. It's January 2012. He's mysteriously losing weight. His behavior on the stump becomes increasingly erratic. Fifty seven states grows to sixty.

He pulls out of the race due to an unknown medical condition, simultaneously urging Hillary to pick up his mantle. She and Bill can't resist and charge into the abyss.

Mitt wins narrowly. Hillary is defanged and Bill, humbled. Barry plays golf--heroically--as he recovers, and gives speeches while Dems dream of the once and future king, St. Barry.

Mitt screws the pooch, Joe Biden is elected in 2016, we default on our debt in 2018, and Chairman Pelosi assumes regency for the People's Republic of China as the Divine Imperial One. Mattell moves its Barbie maufacturing division back to the Province of California where cheap Mexican labor can make Barbie at a fraction of the manufacturing cost in Beijing.

Robin said...

I think Obama has already officially announced the reelection campaign.

However, I would not be surprised if he hadn't run again for 2012. Not because of his "failure", its pretty obvious that Obama lacks any ability to self-criticize.

I'm thinking that his behavior shows a real dislike of the job. He has found, I believe, that he does not like running things, being responsible for events and making decisions. Far too often, there are clear signs of his reluctance to actually do the job.

But he needs a better excuse for declining to run than his own crappy performance, and he lacks that excuse so far.

Anonymous said...

"What if O doesn't run?"

Yeah but.... that's not fair.

Fen said...

He'll run. Not because he wants to be President, but so he can hand out largess in exchange for campaign dollars that will be laundered into his personal accounts.

Blago: This thing is effing-golden and I’m not giving it away for effing-nothing.

Its the Chicago way.

David said...

He'll run for the same reason he hasn't closed Guantanamo: the presidency is a powerful institution that will ride the individual who happens to be in office if he's weak.

Obama's not in control, the institution is.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Hell's bells, Old Dad. After careful review, I find only one flaw in your scenario: Biden will never be elected President. But, it doesn't matter which Dem is elected in 2016, any D will do to get to the default in 2018.

Now I'm gonna have nightmares.

Amy said...

'how to milk the pleasure of being Obama for all it's worth'

This sentence makes me feel slightly ill, if for no other reason that its accuracy. The smugness and self-satisfaction, the pure, unapologetic pleasure in his own self-assessed intelligence....ugh.

Michael said...

If he chooses not to run he is a racist.

Quaestor said...

I not sure what you would have us discuss, whether you have dibs on this speculation or Mickey Kaus, or who's version is more plausible.

As you point out the Kaus scenario is different in that the rationale is different. Obama has no apparent conscience, ergo the Meadehouse contingency is probable than the Kausian bargain. (the Meadehouse contingency -- sounds like a Robert Ludlum novel)

However the idea that Obama would rather spin out his political career to become the "grand old man" of the Democratic party, always sought out for commentary and advice, always available to rescue the party from a dire fate, the perpetual leader of the racialist/progressive wing, to enjoy for decades to come, as you put it, the pleasure of being Obama, this too is highly improbable for the same reason the Kausian bargain is counter-factual. Being without conscience Obama's pleasure of being Obama is undiminished in or out of office.

wv: phiness - a quality we should all seek to acquire

Fen said...

Trump should offer Obama an Early Out Retirement package. Think of it as paying off the mob to leave America alone. Get Obama out before he can do any more irreparable damage to the country and its allies.

Mr President, I'll pay you $100 million to resign today.

For the good of the nation, Mr. Trump. Think about the fact that, if Obama continues, in 2 more years that $100 mil will be worth alot less.

Harry said...

I think it would be great if Obama took some time off after his first term. He could brush up on economics, maybe get a real job in the private sector and find out what that's all about, and then run again claiming he's now qualified.

Drew said... As it stands, the Democratic party is pretty much dead in the water and will probably never again win the Oval Office.

Come on, we're rushing toward Third World status and then we'll have nothing but presidents like Obama.

Quaestor said...

Obama's support currently stands at 42% of likely voters, which is not enough to gain a second term. (Except in the case of a radical populist third party / independent presence on the national ballot. Bill Clinton relied on Ross Perot twice to finesse his minority of support into an eight year lease on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.) So the odds are that he'll be unseated in 2012, by whom is yet to be seen.

The Democrats are taking pleasure in the fact that a front-runner has yet to emerge. I should say a fool's pleasure because in 2006 everybody thought H. Clinton was the unbeatable shoe-in, the nomination hers for the asking. Then Oprah Winfrey inserted her callipygian can into the matter, and whamo! we got the One.

So Obama wants to start campaigning now, as if he doesn't have anything else to do (deficit, unemployment, wars, illegal immigration, has-been nationhood -- they're all just fine, just where the smartest president evah wants them to be) I say let him, as if the voters will be content with vague promises and flowery canned rhetoric delivered by a virtuoso teleprompter read. Obama's going to loose in 2012 and not be disgraced. His hope-and-change Sturmabteilung together with the shameless racialists that are his core constituency will yet be his to command. They'll circulate rumors and theories of massive fraud, and support any post-election analysis which downplays the obvious rejection of Obama and his doctrinaire sixties socialism. So either a Meadehouse withdrawal or outright defeat to the polls yields the same result: Obama will be Nelson Rockefeller of the early 21th century.

wv: swinsle - a wingeing swindle, a nice capsule assessment of the Obama presidency.

dbp said...

If Obama had more brains and less ego, he would find some way to avoid running for reelection.

The benefits, to the country as well as personal gains, make it a no-brainer for pretty much all presidents. Really, what do they ever accomplish in their second term anyway? All of this may be less true for Obama since he is a failure so far and may want to redeem himself.

Quaestor said...

Instead of campaigning, which for Obama is mostly a matter of courting his friends in Hollywood and the "old media" news outlets who were his willing slaves two years ago, but have lately grown somewhat cool, Obama should be grooming (and clandestinely financing) a radical populist stalking horse candidate -- somebody to divide the opposition. It's really his only winning play. Watch for it.

wv: reerity - Oprah Winfrey's salient point

JAL said...

UN General Secretary

Lots of celebrity and power without the junk of having to be POTUS.

Quaestor said...

What if O doesn’t run? Says he’s done what he came to do. New Dem cand. Untainted by job #s. O can run again later

This is why I don't tweet. Twitter forces bright people with well thought out ideas to condense them down to near idiotic palaver. Twitter, the Great Leveler. Everybody's a nattering bore on Twitter.

Michael K said...

Obama declining to run in 2012 would be best for all of us, including him although I think the rides on AF-1 may be a strong attraction

That's why he'll run. Plus AF-1 , of course.

Brian said...
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Carol_Herman said...

If "O" doesn't run, then he's a "quitter." (And, it also means the people inside get to draw a straw ... so that the person with the short-straw tells him the polling results.) Maybe, they'll send in Jimmy Carter?

Of course, maybe, he'll just run using another alias?

Maybe, he'll say he's from Connecticut. And, he has the social security card to prove it.

Trump will lay out an agenda. IF he says he's running, than he will map out strategy, the way, before investing, you talk to investors. And, you show them your business plan.

NO politician is gonna win this thing!

Look for the stranger with the creds.

Carol_Herman said...

Is Kloppenhopper gaining? Maybe, they can run her?

William said...

My precious. Must have my precious. Don't anyone take my precious.....Power is rarely relinquished voluntarily. Take a crappy job like Supreme Court Justice with no perks like Air Force One and the Rose Garden. You need a crowbar to get most of them out......Woodrow Wilson, after a massive stroke, with his high school dropout wife running the country, never thought of resigning. He even contemplated running for a third term. Teddy Roosevelt, with heroic restraint, declined a second term, and the loss of power curdled his insides. He soon bared his teeth and tried to retake his precious away from Taft.