Monday, October 15, 2012

If Obama Loses in 2012, He Could Be the Frontrunner Going into the 2016 Primaries

I know I might be jumping the gun on this but I was just thinking about 2016 and what might happen there. I know a lot of Republicans are thinking that if they can just beat him now, they won't have to deal with him again. That he will be relegated to an occasional speech now and then but will focus mostly on getting his Presidential Library built. Not so fast. Sure, the hefty speaking fees he will be able to collect for almost no work will provide a life of leisure for Obama if he wants it but I'm not so sure he will. He is very competitive and will probably be pretty bitter about losing if he goes down to defeat, especially to someone like Mitt Romney, who he holds with disdain. And he will have plenty of sicophants whispering into his ear about how great he was and how he can win again, becoming the first President since Grover Cleveland to have non-consecutive terms.

Also, the structure of the Democratic Party gives automatic frontrunner status, should he chose to run. African Americans make up about 21% of the Democratic party and they voted practically monolithically for Obama in his 2008 against Clinton.  This helped Obama win the nomination despite losing whites and Latinos to Clinton handily.  Take a look at this graph of the voting share by ethnicity from 2008:

As you can see, because Obama has a relatively large voting bloc in his pocket, he doesn't even have to do that well among the other Democratic groups in order to win.  And then lets not forget all the special interest groups that he has paid off over the last four years, many of those who had been in Clinton's pocket in 2008 are now in Obama's, helping his totals further.

Then there is the simple issue of age, while Obama will still be 54 years old as 2016 rolls around, the other candidates mentioned, Hillary Clinton and Biden, will be much older.  Hillary will be 68 and Biden will be 73.  Try to get the youth to turnout for those dinosaurs.   Then of course there will be the quandry of how exactly Clinton and Biden will be able to provide voters with a choice given they have the #2 and #3 positions within the Obama administration right now.   Every time they criticize some action of Obama's, someone will probably find some speech in which they defended it.  And let's not forget that this all gives the Obama administration added incentive to throw Hillary Clinton and the State Department under the bus for the Benghazi attack right now.  A few negative comments and leaks to the press now can have a major impact on her chances in 2016.

Probably the only Democratic candidate who has a hope of unseating Obama were he choose to run again in 2016 is Andrew Cuomo.  He has a recognizable name, is a popular governor with administrative experience and has a history of reaching across the aisle to work with and even praise Republicans.  He is someone who can argue "do you want to go back to the bad old days of bipartisan bickering of the Obama years or do you want to go with someone who can actually work with Republicans?"  Though once again, the math makes it an uphill battle.  He really would need to get over 60% of the non-African American vote in the primaries in order to win, which is obviously not an easy thing to do.

Anyway, just thinking.

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