Could that combination be the winning ticket for Democrats' 2012 presidential hopes? Former Delaware Gov. Pete du Pont thinks so.
Du Pont, a Republican, qualifies as a legitimate Washington insider: He served three terms in the House of Representatives and was elected governor of Delaware twice (term limits prevented a third term). In 1988, he ran for President.
In his monthly column in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, du Pont makes an educated prediction that President Barack Obama will drop Joe Biden as his running mate and replace him with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Much of du Pont's theory comes from connecting the political dots from some very different places.
He cites the economic problems:
The Obama economy is the worst America has seen in four decades, with payroll employment today 5 percent lower than it was 41 months ago.
And the topic of spending and national debt are added to the equation:
Over the past three years, federal spending as a percentage of gross domestic product has been higher than at any time since World War II, adding $4 trillion to our national debt.
Those points made me wonder: Why would Biden become the sacrificial lamb in the 2012 election? Weren't the policies, the spending and the debt all Obama's decisions?
Du Pont clarifies by focusing on the political problems facing Democrats outside of the White House race in 2012. The Democrats currently control the Senate with a razor thin margin, but the coming election offers Republicans a great chance to regain control of the Senate while maintaining the edge they won in the House in 2010.
The potential of a GOP dominated Congress makes winning the White House even more vital to Democrats. Therefore, the ticket must be the strongest possible combination of a still-popular-with-the-base Obama and whoever is capable of delivering moderate voters and the all-important female demographic.
Du Pont believes that "fresh thinking" is needed to bolster Obama's re-election chances, and that fresh thinking would best come from a familiar name with a high approval rating:
Last December a USA Today/Gallup poll found Mrs. Clinton to be the most admired woman in politics. A poll in March found that 66% viewed Mrs. Clinton favorably and just 31% unfavorably.
The latest Gallup data also displays a need for Obama to bring more political star power to the top tier of the ticket.
Three years into a four-year stint in the White House, with an "approval rating" hovering in the low 40s does not bode well for Obama's re-election hopes.
Obama understands that women are essential to his re-election. In 2008 it was estimated that he earned 56 percent of the female vote and will need that again in the coming election. A little more than a week ago his campaign announced a new initiative called "Women for Obama" with first lady Michelle Obama serving as honorary chair and expected to be seen on the campaign trail quite often.
Earlier this week the WSJ also published a piece from former Democratic pollsters Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen urging the president to just drop out of the 2012 election and clear a path for Hillary Clinton to run:
If President Obama is not willing to seize the moral high ground and step aside, then the two Democratic leaders in Congress, Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, must urge the president not to seek re-election—for the good of the party and most of all for the good of the country. And they must present the only clear alternative—Hillary Clinton.
Du Pont does not seem to support the One-Term Obama theory of Caddell and Schoen, but he does recognize the broad spectrum of benefits that the addition of Hillary Clinton could bring to the ticket. And that includes the "halo effect" of having the still-loved, Bill Clinton in and around the White House.
Also cited in the WSJ story, the results of an October survey from Suffolk University, asking Floridians how they would vote if Hillary Clinton replaced Biden on the ticket.
Those results speak volumes, especially when you consider the importance of a battleground state like Florida with 29 electoral votes.
Additionally, we should be recall the powerful speech made by then-Sen. Clinton as she conceded the primary race and endorsed Obama. The nearly-30 minute concession speech spent just under six minutes on wrapping up her campaign and the remaining 20-plus minutes extolling Obama and rallying her loyal base to support and elect him.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/zgi_kIYx_bY?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0 expand=1]
Perhaps this is payback for Clinton delivering her base in 2008.
Read the full du Pont column on the WSJ site here.
In mid-September The Blaze also predicted that Biden would be out in 2012, replaced by NY's Gov Cuomo, not Hillary Clinton. The basis for the initial prognostication was more intuitive than anything else. It was argued that VP Biden had "done his job" of giving Washington DC experience and credibility to the ticket and now Joe's endless gaffes might be a liability in the coming election season.