February 17, 2015

RUN ON BILL'S VIIth:

Obama's Third Term? : Why it's so hard for Hillary Clinton to shake that charge.   (John Dickerson, 2/17/15, Slate)

Vice President Joe Biden spoke in Iowa on Thursday saying exactly what you'd expect him to say about the success of the Obama administration and how it should be carried on: "Those seeking to lead the nation should protect and defend and run, yes run, on what we've done; own what we have done. Stand for what we have done, acknowledge what we have done, and be judged on what we have done. ... Some say that would amount to a third term of the president. I call it sticking with what works and what we oughta do."

A third Obama term. The vice president isn't the only one who feels this way. This, of course, is what Republicans have been saying Hillary Clinton's presidency would be for months. Biden didn't introduce this idea, but it's one thing for Republicans to say it, it's another thing for the vice president to bolt it onto the eventual Democratic nominee. 

When I heard it, I was fresh from having read David Axelrod's book Believer about his life in politics from his first political rally at age 5 to the celebration of Obama's re-election in Chicago on election night in 2012. In the book, he recounts the details of the 2008 campaign, when Obama repeatedly said he didn't want to give "John McCain the chance to serve out George Bush's third term." 

Given that the UR's administration will be remembered for its continuity with W's--WoT, free trade, Heritage mandate--and that W's built on the Third Way reforms of Newt and Bill, it hardly seems likely that there's a political price to be paid if this is her opponents' line of attack.

Both she and Jeb need to double-down though, and pursue the Third Way with the ambition of W--personalized SS; pharma coverage; HSAs; housing vouchers; NCLB vouchers; FBI; neoconomics; etc.--not the lassitude of the UR. 

Posted by at February 17, 2015 2:50 PM
  

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