I don’t know how much credibility Schoen and Caddell have as Democratic advisers, but the very fact that the Washington Post is publishing this proposal is odd at minimum, if not stunning.
One and done: To be a great president, Obama should not seek reelection in 2012
By Douglas E. Schoen and Patrick H. Caddell
Sunday, November 14, 2010
If the president goes down the reelection road, we are guaranteed two years of political gridlock, at a time when we can ill afford it. But by explicitly saying he will be a one-term president, Obama can deliver on his central campaign promise of 2008, draining the poison from our culture of polarization and ending the resentment and division that have eroded our national identity and common purpose.
The best way for him to address both our national challenges and the serious threats to his credibility and stature is to make clear that, for the next two years, he will focus exclusively on the problems we face as Americans, rather than the politics of the moment – or of the 2012 campaign.
Quite simply, given our political divisions and economic problems, governing and campaigning have become incompatible. Obama can and should dispense with the pollsters, the advisers, the consultants and the strategists who dissect all decisions and judgments in terms of their impact on the president’s political prospects.
Obama himself once said to Diane Sawyer: “I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president.” He now has the chance to deliver on that idea.
Obama owes his election in large measure to the fact that he rejected this approach during his historic campaign. Indeed, we were among those millions of Democrats, Republicans and independents who were genuinely moved by his rhetoric and purpose. Now, the only way he can make real progress is to return to those values and to say that for the good of the country, he will not be a candidate in 2012.
Should the president do that, he – and the country – would face virtually no bad outcomes. The worst-case scenario for Obama? In January 2013, he walks away from the White House having been transformative in two ways: as the first black president, yes, but also as a man who governed in a manner unmatched by any modern leader. He will have reconciled the nation, continued the economic recovery, gained a measure of control over the fiscal problems that threaten our future, and forged critical solutions to our international challenges. He will, at last, be the unifying figure globally he has sought to be, and will almost certainly leave a better regarded president than he is today. History will look upon him kindly – and so will the public.
It is no secret that we have been openly critical of the president in recent days, but we make this proposal with the deepest sincerity and hope for him and for the country.
I can’t imagine the Post publishing such an “opinion” without cause. Ideas anyone? Do you think this is related to the WSJ’s bizarre suggestion a couple of weeks ago that Obama had not yet decided whether to run for re-election? Why Would Donors Be Wondering in Nov. 2010 Whether Obama will Run for Re-election