Thingish Things

Did Robert Reich Just Signal Hillary’s Willingness to Run for VP?

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Dec• 29•11

Former Clinton Administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich revived speculation today that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden will trade places for the 2012 election. I can’t help seeing this as more an official floating of the idea than a thinking aloud piece from Mr. Reich, who enjoys a long friendship and professional relationship with Bill and Hillary Clinton. (These pages first speculated a VP switch last March.)

Mr. Reich is no dummy.  He knows his words carry weight.  In saying “I think Hillary and Joe will trade places,” he is really saying, “Hillary and Joe should change places, and Mrs. Clinton is up for it.”  

He argues the merits of a job switch well:

“Obama needs to stir the passions and enthusiasms of a Democratic base that’s been disillusioned with his cave-ins to regressive Republicans. Hillary Clinton on the ticket can do that.

“Moreover, the economy won’t be in superb shape in the months leading up to Election Day. Indeed, if the European debt crisis grows worse and if China’s economy continues to slow, there’s a better than even chance we’ll be back in a recession. Clinton would help deflect attention from the bad economy and put it on foreign policy, where she and Obama have shined. 

“The deal would also make Clinton the obvious Democratic presidential candidate in 2016 — offering the Democrats a shot at twelve (or more) years in the White House, something the Republicans had with Ronald Reagan and the first George Bush but which the Democrats haven’t had since FDR. Twelve years gives the party in power a chance to reshape the Supreme Court as well as put an indelible stamp on America.”

This switch may need to happen if President Obama is to have any reasonable chance of remaining Chief Executive.  Today’s Rasmussen Poll shows Mitt Romney leading Mr. Obama 45-39 nationally, but the situation is worse for the President when one investigates poll numbers state by state.  If the election were to be held today, President Obama would lose badly. 

Joe Biden brings nothing to the Obama ticket, other than a familiar face.  But Biden’s is not one that engenders a whole lot of confidence. He was chosen in 2008 for his gray hairs, but President Obama now has gray hairs of his own.

The Obama Administration continues to maintain that a Hillary Clinton-Joe Biden switcheroo has been ruled out, but today’s Robert Reich piece suggests it has not been.  Indeed, the idea clearly is very much still alive.

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