Peggy Noonan: a primary challenger to Obama in 2012?

From Audacity to Animosity - No president has alienated his base the way Obama has.


Mr. Obama said, essentially, that he hates the deal he just agreed to, hates the people he made the deal with, and hates even more the people who'll criticize it. His statement was startling in the breadth of its animosity. Republicans are "hostage takers" who worship a "holy grail" of "tax cuts for the wealthy." "That seems to be their central economic doctrine."

As for the left, they ignore his accomplishments and are always looking for "weakness and compromise." They are "sanctimonious," "purist," and just want to "feel good about" themselves. In a difficult world, they cling to their "ideal positions" and constant charges of "betrayals."


Mr. Obama's problem is not only with the left of his party. Democratic professionals, people who do the work of politics day by day, don't see him as a bad man or a sellout, but they scratch their heads over him and privately grouse. They don't understand a Democratic president who, in the midst of a great recession, in our modern welfare state, doesn't know how to win support!


The Democratic Party is stuck. Their problem is not, as some have said, that they don't have anyone of sufficient stature to challenge the president. Russ Feingold and Howard Dean have said they aren't interested, but a challenger can always be found, or can emerge. If anything marks this political age, it's that anyone can emerge.

The Democrats' problem is that most of them know that the person who would emerge, who would challenge Mr. Obama from the left, would never, could never, win the 2012 general election. He'd lose badly and take the party with him. Democratic professionals know the mood of the country. Challenging Mr. Obama from the left would mean definitely losing the presidency, as opposed to probably losing the presidency.

There is only one Democrat who could possibly challenge Mr. Obama for the nomination successfully and win the general election, and that is Hillary Clinton. Who insists she doesn't want to.

What are the Democrats to do? If you are stuck with a president, you try to survive either with him or, individually, in spite of him. Some Democrats will try to bring him back. How? Who knows. But that will be a great Democratic drama of 2011: Saving Obama.

Comment: Alienating friends and foes alike!


  1. Strong words from his 'friends': "“This is a lack of leadership on the part of Obama,” fumed Moran (D-Va.) “I don’t know where the f*** Obama is on this or anything else. They’re AWOL.”"

    Comment: I will go as far as to say Obama is over his head. He is ineffective. He is Carter II or Carter-lite. I don't see a primary challenger to Obama. I see a 1 term President and I am very fine with that prospect

  2. I'm hoping for a half term president, to be honest. This guy makes Carter seem competent, Dean seem sane, and Clinton look honest in comparison. It's time he went back to Chicago--not that I have anything against Chicagoans, of course.

  3. Ayup. But for the sake of the country, it looks like Chicago needs to suffer.

    Of course, with Dear Leader out of office, things probably would get better there, too.

  4. If Obama coming back here would boot Rahm Emanuel's smarmy face off the news, I'm all for it!

  5. ya, but Obama's face would be all over the news, then. Sometimes ya can't win fer losin'.


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