Published on August 18th, 2012 | by Luis Cavalcanti0
Signaling Hillary: Why it’s Obvious that Biden will be Dropped for Clinton
Obama is a demagogue. It’s not a critique, just an observation. Some of America’s best presidents have been first-rate demagogues. On the right you have Reagan who was known for his ability to communicate through impassioned, emotional appeals. On the left, while there have been many before him (Clinton?) you have the modern quintessential demagogue in our current President. I remember the night of his now-famous DNC speech. After he was finished, I called my father and said, “I think I just heard the next President of the United States”.
The historical record, no matter what anyone says, tends to smile upon such affable politicos. They are often well-liked, and a surprising amount of foreign diplomacy is done as a result of people being well liked. There are stories of Reagan walking into meetings without being adequately briefed or after refusing to read briefs altogether and talking his way through important diplomatic talks. I’m sure when Obama leaves office, there will be similarly harrowing stories of incredible feats of negotiation. The other bit of it is that they are still politicians. Clinton is famous for following the polls. Whatever was expedient, whatever was auspicious based on Gallup’s tracking polls would carry the day.
Obama has made a career of manipulating public opinion. He’s a percipient young President with an ability to fly high on the winds of political vicissitude. We’ve seen it with his so-called “evolving” opinion on gay marriage. The language he used, along with the talking points that the White House employed, made it difficult to call the change in opinion anything but a natural, and very obvious transformation. He is adept at understanding which credentials must be shored up, and at acting deftly to plug those holes. In 2008, Obama was criticized for his foreign policy credentials. He was under fire for being young, incapable of understanding geopolitical issues. He shored up the criticisms by calling on Washington’s most controversial, bumbling foreign policy expert Joe Biden. It was a perfect pick as Joe Biden is a man whose aspirations for the Presidency ended in the 80s under shameful accusations of plagiarism and whose penchant for saying the stupidest thing precedes him. His ability to put his foot in his mouth in all sorts of weird and surprising angles has been a continual headache for this President. Just last week, Joe slipped into inner-city tongue, and posited that Massa’ Romney would leave black people in shackles.
Biden is known for exactly one respectable thing: being a foreign policy expert. Biden could neither outshine the young demagogue, but his addition to the ticket instantly stopped all criticism of Obama regarding his lacking foreign policy credentials.
Now, whether Biden is actually a foreign policy expert or not is debatable. But it was the right move at the right time for Obama.
Four years later, Obama’s foreign policy credentials are probably not on the table. After a long time in the White House dealing with foreign leaders, it’s hard to say that a guy isn’t a qualified foreign policy representative. What that means is the one thing that Biden brought to the table is no longer relevant. And while the Obama administration is trying to re-position Biden as an archetype of the middle class, I’m wondering whether even that is a thing he could bring to the table. The “middle class” is a powerful constituency, but it is highly heterogeneous, and no one person can bring the constituency to any other man. Unions, many of their members are middle class, but the position of unions is not exactly being called into question; unions members vote for democrats. So what exactly does the Obama administration gain by having Biden on the ticket if he is some sort of important version of middle class voters?
The answer is NOTHING! Besides that, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has spent the last four years strengthening her own foreign policy credentials, she’s poised, and the biggest gaffe of her career was when she wore a plunging, slightly revealing shirt on the floor of the Senate. Oh, and did I mention that she’s a woman?
Frankly, her effeminate credential makes her a strong strong choice this year as the democratic party tries to convince women that the Republican party is trying to make them into baby-bearing cattle with no say in their own reproductive options. While the accusation may be a hard pill to swallow for rational, traditional Americans, it might be a bit easier to convince one of America’s most valuable constituencies that they are under attack when the bearer of that news is a woman herself. She brings everything Joe Biden brings, plus she actually brings the female constituency with her. And since the war on woman has become a recurring, extremely successful theme of this years Democratic strategy.
A week ago, Obama didn’t seem like he was in that much trouble. But no matter what you think of Ryan, it seems that his addition to the ticket is moving polls in ways that one might have thought only prayer would do. Today, Romney is 2% up in a nationwide polling, just barely within the margin of error. It’s a virtual dead heat.
What’s more, Romney has pulled within 40 electoral votes of Obama. And with the addition of Ryan to the ticket, Wisconsin, a state that was leaning strongly toward Obama, is now up for grabs. Romney is within the margin of error, trailing Obama by only 1% (and that’s the 7 d-day rolling average). Most recent polls indicate that Romney is actually ahead of Obama, though only time will tell. If things keep going this way, in 7 days, there is a strong possibility that Wisconsin will be fully in the Republican camp. What that means for the Obama campaign is that Romney will only need to win one and a half more states to make up the Electoral vote deficit. And while there was almost no obvious path to that a week ago, the great Ryan poll shift may be spelling trouble for Obama’s second term prospects. He may find that in Ohio which brings with it 18 electoral votes. In addition, Virginia is up for grabs at the moment, which brings another 13 electoral votes with it. If those states went red, there would be a literal flip-flop in the electoral numbers.
So what is Obama to do? Well, as the convention dates loom, it’s likely that nothing interesting will happen right away. But, it is likely that something will be done before the convention itself happens. The simple solution is to make a move that is as surprising as Romney’s VP pick, something that helps Obama shore up lacking bonafides and brings with it the promise of a large constituency. What better way to do that then to eject the bumbling oaf who is his current Vice President in exchange for the poised, sympathetic intellectual that the left thinks Hillary Clinton is? Moreover, if he is to win, having her in the White House for four years makes her the obvious heir apparent as long as she can convince Obama to rule from the center as her husband did in the mid 90s.