Fantasy primary games
It's the newest parlor game in Washington: figure out which Democrat could be induced to mount a primary challenge to Obama. It is not a game for Democrats, who notwithstanding the cranks and the hard left (okay, there's some overlap there), understand that the notion of a primary challenge against an African American president in a Democratic primary is, well, silly. But Republicans like to daydream. Ross Douthat did yesterday:
What Obama has to worry about isn't a Dean or a Russ Feingold or an Evan Bayh -- or, the fantasies of pundits notwithstanding, a Hillary Clinton. He needs to worry about a liberal version of Pat Buchanan in 1992: Somebody with name recognition and no broader political ambitions, who can serve as a conduit for Democratic discontent in Iowa and New Hampshire. Somebody who could embarrass the White House by taking, say, 30 percent of the vote in an early primary, and congratulate themselves on a job well done. Somebody with a high profile, a silver tongue, and a flair for melodrama, who would attract media attention just by throwing their hat into the ring.
Arianna Huffington, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you....
Update: Sadly for both Arianna and America, I am reminded that Huffington was born in Greece. It remains now for you, Rachel Maddow.
I admit I was mulling over the possible primary contenders with a conservative friend (one of the cleverest of the lot) yesterday. It couldn't be a Blue Dog, because what could be more Blue Doggish than agreeing to extend the Bush tax cuts? There won't be room to run to Obama's right in a primary. It has to be someone semi-credible, in order to get the president to pay attention to a potential challenge. I've got the candidate: Jerry Brown.
Brown bedeviled Bill Clinton in 1992. He's got nothing to lose (really, winning the governorship of California is a heck of a lot better than being governor of California these days), and he's actually won elections and held office. Moreover, he is just savvy enough to run left (e.g. promise to pass Don't Ask/Don't Tell by executive order, come out in favor of gay marriage) and run right (e.g. he was a tough-on-crime mayor, so none of this dillydallying with terrorists).
Do you have a better candidate? If so, tell me who and why you think so in the comments section.
| December 9, 2010; 10:45 AM ET
Categories: 2012 campaign, President Obama
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