President Obama should abandon his run for a second term and turn over the reins of the Democratic Party to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, two one-time Democratic pollsters wrote in Monday's Wall Street Journal, which appeared online Sunday.
Patrick H. Caddell and Douglas E. Schoen argued that just as Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson decided not to pursue additional runs though they could have, Obama should do the same.
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“He should abandon his candidacy for re-election in favor of a clear alternative, one capable not only of saving the Democratic Party, but more important, of governing effectively and in a way that preserves the most important of the president's accomplishments. He should step aside for the one candidate who would become, by acclamation, the nominee of the Democratic Party: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,”Caddell and Schoen wrote.
Caddell, who worked as a pollster for President Jimmy Carter, and Schoen, who was a pollster for President Bill Clinton, argue that Obama will inevitably have to run a negative campaign in order to win reelection, the negative consequences of which will make it difficult for him to govern effectively.
“One year ago in these pages, we warned that if President Obama continued down his overly partisan road, the nation would be ‘guaranteed two years of political gridlock at a time when we can ill afford it.’ The result has been exactly as we predicted: stalemate in Washington, fights over the debt ceiling, an inability to tackle the debt and deficit, and paralysis exacerbating market turmoil and economic decline,” they write.
Caddell and Schoen say they write as “patriots and Democrats” who are concerned for their country, and they do not expect to play a direct role in any possible Clinton campaign.
This is not the first time Caddell and Schoen have made this argument. They wrote in November 2010 in The Washington Post that they “do not come to this conclusion lightly. But it is clear, we believe, that the president has largely lost the consent of the governed.”
CORRECTION: The headline on an earlier version of this article misidentified Cadell and Schoen. They each formerly worked Democratic pollsters, but in recent years have been identified more as critics of the party who have supported independent political movements.