Yet more speculation that it would be best for Obama to not seek a second term – from the Chicago Tribune:
… there is good news for the president. I checked the Constitution, and he is under no compulsion to run for re-election. He can scrap the campaign, bag the fundraising calls and never watch another Republican debate as long as he’s willing to vacate the premises by Jan. 20, 2013.
That might be the sensible thing to do. It’s hard for a president to win a second term when unemployment is painfully high. If the economy were in full rebound mode, Obama might win anyway. But it isn’t, and it may fall into a second recession — in which case voters will decide his middle name is Hoover, not Hussein. Why not leave of his own volition instead of waiting to get the ax?…
Mostly he won’t because I suspect he doesn’t realize just how bad its getting…and even if he does, there still is that chance of a massive rebound in the economy and/or a complete implosion by the GOP. Neither is very likely (in the end, we GOPers will end up nominating someone who can do all that is necessary: merely be a credible alternative to Obama), but it won’t become crystal clear for months…perhaps too long down the road for Obama to quit and allow time for Democrats to pull it together and get a credible nominee.
To be sure, it would do Obama good to get out – as Chapman observes, even if Obama wins, second terms don’t tend to work out very well. Obama’s second term would be harder than most – he would have managed to scrape to a win with an economy plunging back in to recession and he’d be dealing with a Congress likely completely controlled by his opponents. The scandals brewing now would come to a head, then…nothing but a four year long headache for Obama. Quitting now would mean an almost-certain Hillary nomination…and she could actually win next year; thus Obama would saddle her with all the headaches while he goes on to write his memoirs, make bags of money and perhaps become head of the United Nations in the by and by.
We’ll see how this comes out – it gets more interesting as more and more liberal voices join the Chorus of Concern. But don’t mistake it – its not a worry about Obama: it is entirely a concern that with Obama at the top of the ticket while Reid and Pelosi still lead the Congressional Democrats that the party is on the road to a blow-out defeat…the sort of crushing defeat which ushers in 50 years of the other guys running things. The sort of defeat which could result in the dismantling of the liberal welfare State and the revival of an America that our grand-fathers knew. Nothing can be more frightening for liberals than that…a confident, growing America running the world based on core, American values. Makes ’em shudder just to think about it.
As of now, it is a million to one against Obama declining to run…but that is very different from “absolutely impossible” as it was just a month or so ago. And its only a thousand to one against a serious primary challenger…far different from the million to one against a little while ago.