The field just narrowed in 2012. While there is literally a plethora of potential Republican candidates, Democrats remain focused on Barack Obama, particularly now that Hilary Clinton has dropped out of the running.
She not only will not run in 2012 (sorry, no Clinton vs. Palin fantasy scenario i.e. strong feminist woman vs. pseudo-feminist quitter) but not in 2016 either. No more running for public office, Hilary told FOX’s Mike Wallace.
“I love what I’m doing,” she said on FOX News Sunday:
“I’ve said it over and over again. And I’m happy to say it on your show as well. I am committed to doing what I can to advance the security, the interests and values of the United States of America. I believe what I’m doing right now is in furtherance of that. And I’m very proud and grateful to be doing it.”
It is difficult to see, with Hilary out of consideration, how any other Democrat could hope to challenge Barack Obama, whose own popularity remains high. And contrary to Republican spin, that Obama is a raving leftist ideologue, a CNN poll released last week shows that American voters don’t think Obama is too liberal (only 38%) and only 9% think he is not liberal enough. Obviously, he continues to appeal to moderate voters, which is what led to his victory in 2008.
The result is that the Democrats are likely to enter the 2012 elections united behind one candidate – a proven, experienced candidate, while the Republicans are divided by numerous candidates, and more, by the growing gap between Tea Party Palin supporters and mainstream Republicans exemplified by Karl Rove. If people thought things got ugly between Obama and Clinton in 2008, they’ll get an education when Palin and Rove go at it in earnest.
I cannot think of another thing better calculated to make Democrats salivate and Republicans wince, than Hilary Clinton removing herself from the equation. And Barack Obama has two years to unite Democrats and re-attract those voters he lost in 2010.