Can Hillary Clinton Save the Democrats?

COMMENTARY | Politico reports an unfolding story of the rise of Clinton nostalgia among Democrats. This is coupled with the continuing death spiral of President Barack Obama’s approval numbers, even among his liberal base.

It is understandable why Democrats are hearkening back to the Clinton 1990s, a period of economic prosperity and relative peace. Bill Clinton was able to coast to a comfortable victory over Sen. Bob Dole in 1996. Of course what happened during Clinton’s second term does not bear mentioning.

Democrats are starting to wonder if it is not too late for a President Hillary Clinton. The idea that Clinton, currently secretary of state, would ride to the rescue and challenge Obama in the primaries is a little far-fetched. Those sorts of efforts, such as when then Sen. Ted Kennedy attempted to topple President Jimmy Carter in 1980, never end well. The challenge is unsuccessful and the president so being targeted is weakened.

A variant of the Democratic dream, as suggested by American Spectator’s John Fund in a recent interview, is that a committee of Democratic Party elders would visit Obama in the Oval Office and persuade him to do an LBJ, to promise not to run for a second term. That would clear the way for Clinton to run and, presumably, be in a stronger position against the Republican candidate next year.

Of course the LBJ scenario is not a pleasant one for Democrats either. Then Vice President Hubert Humphrey became the Democratic nominee in 1968 and was narrowly defeated by Richard Nixon.

Even if Clinton were to run and win, it is uncertain whether a Hillary Clinton presidency would be the second coming of the 1990s. Bill Clinton was a master politician, though he expended much of his skills getting himself out of messes his lack of character got him into. The big disaster, from the standpoint of the Democrats, of the 1990s was touched off by an attempt fostered by Hillary Clinton to impose government-run health care. The following midterm elections swept Republicans into power for the first time in over a generation. It is uncertain that a President Hillary Clinton would avoid the maladroitness that first lady Clinton clearly demonstrated.

In any event, Clinton has not demonstrated even the slightest desire to run for president. Her tenure as Secretary of State has proven frustrating. The mauling she got at the hands of Obama in 2008 seems to have scared her off of any future attempts of electoral politics. So if the Democrats expect for someone to save them from what’s surely coming, they will have to look elsewhere.

Source: President Obama faces comparisons to Bill and Hillary Clinton, Jonathon Allen and Amie Parnes, Politico, Sept. 16, 2011

John Fund: What if a committee of prominent Dems approached Obama and asked him not to run? Allahpundit, Hot Air, Sept, 15, 2011

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