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Is It Possible Obama Might Step Aside in 2012?

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Many analysts on both sides of the aisle asked a question today that would have seemed beyond the pale six months ago: Is it possible Obama might not run for reelection?

The Washington Times reports that a collection of liberal politicians and interest groups will offer primary challenges to Barack Obama next year.

This proposed progressive coalition will by led by Ralph Nader to challenge Obama for having sold out to to the 'corporatist right'-- and, according to the coalition, just generally doing an abysmal job. Recent Gallup polling shows Obama's popularity among liberals has plummeted to an all-time-low.

That polling reflects a trend among some stalwart left-wing columnists who want Obama to step aside lest Republicans seize every branch of government in 2012. Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune wrote today that "Obama should withdraw," and listed the following litany of criticisms for this political advice:

"The sputtering economy is about to stall out, unemployment is high, his jobs program may not pass, foreclosures are rampant... his approval rating is at its lowest level ever. His party just lost two House elections — one in a district it had held for 88 consecutive years. He's staked his future on the jobs bill, which most Americans don't think would work."

A long list, but not written without purpose. Chapman already had a replacement in mind to occupy the Oval Office. He wrote that "the ideal candidate would be a figure of stature and ability who can't be blamed for the economy... conspicuously associated with prosperity."

Who does the Chapamn think fits this bill?

Hillary Clinton.

This suggestion echoes advice given from the other side of the political aisle last week by former Vice President Dick Cheney. Former President Bill Clinton's knee-jerk response was to ignore Cheney's suggestion as partisan machinations.

Perhaps now liberals will view the suggestion Hilary should run as honest analysis, even from Republicans.

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