Greg Sargent at the Washington Post asks why Romney would imagine that Obama would lose to him by a big margin in the coming presidential election. He scoffs at any suggestion that 2012 will be anything but a tight race. Citing author Craig Shirley, Sargent asserts there is no way that President Obama, “a vastly superior politician to Carter” at a time “that the economy is nowhere near as bad as it was in 1980,” can show poorly against Romney, who “is not even a poor imitation of Reagan.” Therefore he finds it slightly suspicious that the Romney/Ryan team should exhibit such confidence. Sargent thinks that at worst it will be a tight race:
I fully expect the race to tighten, and I’d say it’s still a toss-up, given the bad economy. But it’s interesting to ask why the Romney camp is spinning this scenario. I don’t know how heavily Romney and his advisers are banking on things unfolding this way, but the fact that they are telling folks this suggests they think they need a theory of the race that explains why they aren’t yet winning.
But in fact the question should be asked the other way. Why is it tight? Why is Barack Obama, with all the resources of the incumbent, after having spent literally hundreds of billions on political patronage, backed by the wholehearted support of the media, not streets ahead of that rich old white Mormon and his miserly running mate?
Hillary Clinton is apparently asking herself the same question. And she’s sitting it out, which is a polite way of saying she’s looked at the odds and declined to bet the farm on Barack Obama winning in 2012. Ed Klein, the author of the New York Times bestseller on Obama, The Amateur, says Hillary was invited to join him as running mate in the coming elections — and she declined.
“As recently as a couple of weeks ago, the White House was putting out feelers to see if Hillary Clinton was interested in replacing Joe Biden on the ticket,” Klein told Secrets. “Bill Clinton, I’m told, was urging his wife to accept the number two spot if it was formally offered. Bill sees the vice presidency as the perfect launching pad for Hillary to run for president in 2016.”
He made similar comments Thursday night to CNBC’s Larry Kudlow. The White House has dismissed speculation of a Clinton for Biden swap despite a string of recent gaffes by the vice president.
Klein, whose book is No. 2 on the NYT bestseller list, quoted unnamed sources who revealed that top Obama aide Valerie Jarrett put the vice presidency on the table during a lunch with the secretary of state. “The lunch was ostensibly about policy issues, but the subject of the vice presidency came up,” he said. “Hillary told Valerie Jarrett that she was not interested in running as Obama’s vice president.”
Klein said she cited two reasons: If elected, she didn’t want to be tied to Obama’s left-leaning politics in her own 2016 bid. Second, if Obama loses, she would be tarred as a loser.