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Bayh to Obama: Let My People Go!

In Can You Hear Me Now? on 18/02/2010 at 08:25

Bayh Jumps Ship, Plans Future Run

The mass exodus of key Democrats from congressional ranks signals nasty times ahead for the DNC. Evan Bayh’s departure this week has the party brain trust watching their chances in 2010 circling the drain, and it is now clear that 2012 is in serious jeopardy.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Bayh, he is the son of former Indiana Senator Birch Bayh, the primary sponsor of the ERA during the 1970s, and a casualty of the big dump when Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980. Birch Bayh and eight of the Senate’s most prominent Democrats, including Frank Church and George S. McGovern, were swept out of office on Reagan’s coattails. Dan Quayle defeated him.

The significance of Bayh’s departure should not be lost in the traffic jam of recent Democrat exits and announcements of early retirement. If they were on a submarine, the ooga horn would be sounding and Nancy Pelosi would be yelling, Dive! Dive! This is a blaring mutiny from the administration’s strategic mess and the Obama-Pelosi-Reed Brownshirt tactics. Never has a party so misread the public mindset.

I have long held that Hillary Clinton will challenge Obama in 2012, if she can win party support, and now there is a wildcard who can make her decision an imperative in the near future. Whether or not Bayh is entertaining the idea of a run in 2012 or 2016, as some have speculated, if Hillary is going to run she will have to make her decision soon.

Here is how it can happen. It is becoming clearer by the day that Obama is unwilling to move to the center. Oh, he talks a mean center game – summits, commissions, studies – but even his most ardent supporters know that his ego will not allow him to move to the right. He is an ideologue. A Marx-esque intellectual. His policies look good on paper and he cannot see beyond the paper.

The fallout will continue through 2010 and after a few lackluster attempts at acting like what he cannot be – a moderate – the party will begin to apply pressure. Obama will not run for second term, not because he has a masterful leftwing plan to run the world, but because the party will demand his departure. It will be the first time, if memory serves me, since Lyndon Johnson buckled to the antiwar movement in 1968.

Long before this, Hillary will have retired from politics to pursue “humanitarian” projects with the love of her life, whatever her name is … er … I mean Bill.

I may be wrong. Barack may come slinking to the right. Or, the Democrats may have already ceded 2012. They may be in one of their classic hold modes, sitting it out for 2016. They know, as we all do, that the numbskulls running the GOP will screw it up, even if they do manage a win. But, whatever the strategy, Barack Obama will have to fend off a moderate challenger in the 2012 election cycle.

And there is no one on the planet who can kabuki moderate like Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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