Barack Obama: Saved by the Clintons?

By choosing Hillary Clinton as his running mate, the American president would benefit from the incredible popularity of the former presidential couple.

What if the key to Barack Obama’s re-election is named Hillary Clinton? Already brought up in the past, the idea of an Obama-Clinton presidential ticket in 2012 was revived on Friday in the Wall Street Journal column “Outside the Box.” The American president “might decide to switch to a vice presidential candidate who will be stronger, better and change the thinking of a majority of the Democrats,” writes the American daily paper. For this author, there is no doubt: if he keeps Joe Biden, the current vice president, at his side, Barack Obama will be defeated by his Republican opponent.

If the current tenant of the White House is able to extend his lease in Washington, the persistent economic difficulties might well be fatal for him. Above all, the American president has alienated a portion of the democratic electorate, who are disappointed with his balance sheet and record. The “Occupy Wall Street” movement is only the tip of the iceberg. “It is going to be complicated for the Democrats to mobilize some of the voters that supported them in 2008. This is certainly their primary concern at the moment,” confirmed Robert Shapiro, a professor at Columbia University.

Replacing Joe Biden with Hillary Clinton would be one of the potential responses. The arguments in favor of the former first lady aren’t lacking. As the Secretary of State (the equivalent of Foreign Minister), she is now the most popular political personality in the U.S., according to a survey by Bloomberg. Her approval rating of 66 percent is far superior to that of both Barack Obama and the Democratic and Republican parties. Last month, a poll by Time showed that, as the Democratic candidate, she would get many more votes than Barack Obama in November 2012, clearly beating all the candidates for the Republican nomination.

With Hillary Clinton, who has already announced that she would leave her current post after 2012, Barack Obama would be able to regain some of the democratic electorate — those who had supported him without much enthusiasm in 2008 after he defeated the former New York Senator in the primaries. Notably, this includes the older white population. Her presence could also be useful with independent voters, whose vote is often essential during presidential elections.

The other advantage to Hillary Clinton is, of course, her husband Bill. The 42nd U.S. president also enjoys exceptional popularity among Americans. Just last year, while Barack Obama was battling with congressional Democrats, Bill Clinton flew to his aid during a surreal press conference. More recently, the release of his latest book, “Back to Work,” in which he gives his advice for reviving the economy and employment, was quite an event.

When asked about these rumors in September, Hillary Clinton shot them down. “It’s maybe a subject for speculation on Google, but it’s not a serious issue,” she explained on ABC. “Vice President Biden has done an incredible job.” Still, sometimes things change very quickly in politics.

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