According to Politico, President Obama is being urged by former Virginia Governor Doug Wilder to dump Vice President Joe Biden and chose someone else, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by preference, to be his running mate in 2012.
It is usually a bad sign for a President about to reach the half way mark in his first (and perhaps only) term in office when people are suggesting that he needs to save himself by dumping his Vice President and choosing another. Mind, FDR managed to go through three Vice Presidents without too much damage. But Obama is, if anything, no FDR, even though he might want to be. Neither is Joe Biden a Harry Truman or even a Jack Garner.
There is a certain logic to dumping Joe Biden. President Obama thought he was getting an expert on foreign and judicial policy and a Senator with decades of experience when he chose Joe Biden to run with him. Instead he has a Vice President whose tendency for gaffes have made him the butt of jokes on late night TV and conservative talk radio. Obama must have known what he was getting as early as the campaign when he saw the much despised, though much underestimated, Sarah Palin wipe the floor with Joe Biden during the Vice Presidential debates.
Of course there was no possibility of changing running mates in the middle of a campaign. The venerable George McGovern could have old Obama what happens next.
Even so, Joe Biden did not derail Obama’s ascent to the Presidency. But also, Joe Biden has not been much of an asset as say, Dick Cheney for George W. Bush. George H.W. Bush for Reagan, or even Richard Nixon for Eisenhower. In a way Biden has been worse than Dan Quayle. At least when the media depicted Quayle as a doofus, it was being unfair.
But the idea of Hillary Clinton as a Vice President may not be any more appealing to Obama in 2012 than she was in 2008. Hillary Clinton is still smarting from the drubbing Obama gave her in 2008 and, while she has been a team player as Secretary of State, giving her the Vice Presidency may be too much like clutching a viper to the bosom.
Indeed, if Barack Obama is as weak going into 2012 as he is now, Hillary Clinton may well see her role not as the running mate who saves his Presidency, but as the primary rival who buries it. That would be a symptom too of weakness, as when Reagan tried to take the nomination from Ford in 1976, Teddy Kennedy from Carter in 1980, and Pat Buchannan from George H. W. Bush in 1992.
And one might imagine Clinton would not be the only challenger. A lot of liberals, disappointed with Obama for being insufficiently left wing (as incredible as that may sound) have started to dream of Howard Dean, who had a cult-like following in 2004. If the Screamer gets in the race, 2012 will be one of those campaigns that will be talked about for as long as the Republic survives.
Source: “Obama-Clinton ticket for 2012”, Douglas Wilder, Politico, August 2nd, 2010