Blog Rule #1: It would be irresponsible not to speculate
Looking ahead for the next 15-16 months, this is what I see happening on the Democratic side:
Obama will run virtually unopposed for the Democratic nomination. He controls the party machinery and will use it to destroy any real challengers. That of course means Hillary will not be running. If she runs again it will be in 2016.
I said way back in 2008 that the 2012 election should be a referendum on Obama with the state of the economy the primary issue. The economy is in the tank and I don’t see a big turnaround on the horizon. That means Obama’s only hope is (guess what?) convincing people that the Republicans are worse.
Obama will raise a gazillion dollars and use it to run the most negative, race-baiting campaign since 2008. No surprise there, he’s a one-trick pony. He’ll keep treating lefties like a political booty call, whispering sweet nothings in their ears and then fucking them. Where else are they gonna go?
Obama will try to make history repeat itself in two ways. First, he will try to recreate that astroturf magic of 2008. He will try to convince people he is really running a grassroots movement fueled by volunteers and small donors while taking most of his donations from fat cats. He’ll again use online donating to launder illegal donations.
There is a substantial possibility that there will be an astroturf primary opponent running against him. If this happens the candidate will be a strawman set up for a defeat. The goal will be to give Obama a lefty foil to beat on so he can look like a winner again.
Dissipating progressive energies is a second goal – by setting up a strawman he can prevent a genuine challenger from gaining traction.
The second way he will try to make history repeat itself is already underway. He will try brinksmanship with the GOP over a number of issues, hoping to trigger a government shutdown like the one in 1995. It worked for the Big Dawg, didn’t it?
Except John Boehner is not Newt Gongrinch. The Newtie Boy suffered from a raging case of hubris but Agent Orange comes across as far more modest while Hubris is Obama’s middle name. Not only that but the economic situation is far different and Obama is less popular and doesn’t have Bill’s brains or people skills.
Obama would love to dump Biden and replace him with Hillary or someone like Evan Bayh who can help him win a key swing state. If the GOPers nominate a woman for either of the top two spots he’ll pressure Hillary to take the VP job, hoping to short-circuit a massive defection of women voters to the GOP.
As far as Congress goes I don’t see the Democrats winning back the House and they’ll probably lose the Senate too. Voters in both parties will be holding their noses and voting next year.
Reading entrails and tea leaves – Republican edition