Chicago Style Friendship

…… Barack Obama’s biggest political disappointment is that Justice David Souter didn’t retire from the Supreme Court a little sooner so that he could have taken credit for elevating Mrs. Clinton to Justice Clinton and therefore out his political hair – forever.friendship

“Keep your friends close; keep your enemies closer”. Chinese general and philosopher Sun Tzu said it 2500 years ago and frankly, it’s pretty good advice. It’s a cousin of the Arabic proverb of “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. In politics, these are like the words Moses heard from the burning bush. If you train your eye you can see this exercised at the highest level of our government.  Reading the stitches on the Obama administration’s fastballs isn’t really that tough due in large part because they’ve thrown so many curveballs.

Over the last year I’ve written about the influential women on the political horizon and the specter of a female president in the near future. I still believe this will happen and maybe sooner than later.

Anyone who thinks Barack Obama and Mrs. Clinton are political allies likely believes the pap Joe Biden puts out about the success of the $800bn stimulus package. When President Obama named Hillary Clinton as his choice for Secretary of State not only did it give the appearance of rewarding a savvy and popular ideologue but it took a major political player off the table (at least for a while) with the potential to publicly question his direction. At this point, Barack Obama’s biggest political disappointment is that Justice David Souter didn’t retire from the Supreme Court a little sooner so that he could have taken credit for elevating Mrs. Clinton to Justice Clinton and therefore out his political hair – forever.

My sense for a long time has been that Barack Obama is a one term president. That does not necessarily mean that the democrats will lose in 2012; just that the Obama family will be moving back to the “’friendly confines’ of Chicago. My theory has been that if the Obama approval numbers lingered in the low 40’s and his independent supporters continued to jump ship, he would be toast for a second term. It is, and they are. And all this before the midterms, which has the very real potential to be an unmitigated blood bath for his party.  

Hillary and Bill are the only ones with the ‘audacity of hope’ to pursue a Democrat presidential nomination for 2012. And frankly, she (or should we say, ‘they’?) has the best chance of success staging an intra-party coup.

In his own words; (President Obama) “I would rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president” (January 10, 2010, ABC News, Diane Sawyer). Not sure about his logic since “pretty good presidents” tend to get re-elected in our political system, but as usual he sounded good saying it. With that said, it appears he is taking no chances.

In an unprecedented appeal for a former president to return to active politics, President Obama enlisted Bill Clinton to become more involved in moving his politically charged economic agenda and urged the former president to return to the campaign circuit for fellow democrats. It would appear Obama is taking not only Sun-Tzu’s advice to heart but Bill Clinton’s own words from 1992 … something about two for the price of one. “….Hmm, if I can coax Bill to do what he really loves, it can forestall Hillary from making a move until its too late….”

So here’s where it gets interesting. A deflated Barack gets a rejuvenated Bill to cheerlead for the administration’s efforts knowing that he has a much bigger and better Rolodex, remains popular with the base, and has the golden touch on the campaign trail. Plus everyone knows Bill loves the campaign trail because it gets him out of the house and is the one of the only things that can adequately stroke his oversized ego.

Here’s the big question. At what point will Bill turn his back on Barack and opt for Hillary and a bona fide chance to get his mail delivered to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. —-again?

Make no doubt, the Obama’s and the Clinton’s are not BFF’s. When Bill turns his back on Barack, either now or later, you can guarantee a lightening fast Chicago style ‘unfriending’. This is going to be fun to watch.

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