he bad news keeps piling up for President Obama: His approval rating is sinking to record lows; the economy is on the brink of another recession; and Republicans are threatening to block much of his jobs plan. And now, a columnist from Obama's hometown newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, is advising Obama to withdraw his re-election bid. With unemployment high, voters are likely to give Obama "the ax" anyway, says Steve Chapman. And even if Obama wins, his second term — possibly with a GOP-controlled Congress — will probably bog down in "frustration, exhaustion, and embarrassment." He should step aside, Chapman says, and let the tough and tested Hillary Clinton take over his "unenviable job." Should Obama take Chapman's advice?
Quitting might help Obama's legacy: Think about it, says The Crawdad Hole. If Obama steps down, "history will likely be kind to him because he inherited a mess even Hercules would have trouble cleaning up." If he sticks around, he's "unlikely to get any significant policy victories" in his second term — and even if the economy improves, "it will be lost in the shuffle of the race to replace him." And no matter what, "Obama will always be a lifetime member of a very exclusive club. He can spend the rest of his life reading speeches and playing golf."
"Fore more years"
Obama's too proud to quit: It's clear that Obama should step aside, says Scared Monkeys. But he won't, because that would be admitting "that the last four years have been something that no one would want to repeat." Somebody with an ego like Obama's would never give up the dream of a second term "for the sake of the party," especially if it meant having a longtime rival like Hillary Clinton being the one to "ride in on the white horse."
"Chicago Tribune editor opines … Why Barack Obama should withdraw from the 2012 presidential election"
This is so far-fetched it's not even worth discussing: "Not to put too fine a point on it," says Dave Schuler at The Glittering Eye, but suggesting that Obama might decide not to run is pure "crazy talk." Every president knows that second terms tend to be "less than distinguished, even disastrous." But they all go all out to win four more years, because "being president is an itch that just doesn't go away."
"The case for a single term"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- Sorry Belle Knox, porn still oppresses women
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Religious liberty should be a liberal value, too
- Why is American internet so slow?
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' confused man-crush on Vladimir Putin
- Why states should stop limiting the alcohol content in your beer
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Ukraine's fraught relationship with Russia: A brief history
Subscribe to the Week