Bobby Jindal is in the race. Louisiana is a mess but he’s in. The 13th Republican to be considered for the 2016 presidential nomination. Is that right? Let’s see…there’s Filibuster Cruz, Another Bush, Sweater Santorum, Paul-lite, Reverend Huckabee, teenage Rubio, Carson, Fiorina, Graham, Perry, The Donald…uh, that’s only a dozen….wait, Pataki, oh my, can’t forget him…well, actually you can. I did. Wish I still could. Still to come are Bridgegate Christie, Walker the union killer, maybe the staid Kasich of Ohio.
Other side, there are four: Hillary the inevitable; Sweet Bernie from Vermont, the leftiest of all; Maryland O’Malley and the stately Lincoln Chaffee (Let’s put Lincoln in the White House, they could say…).
Who will emerge? Writing this before the Supreme Court decision, I’ll say that the Republicans can’t pound on social issues…gay marriage? Regardless of what the court says, the public has decided. Obamacare? The GOP could suffer if the court overturns it, because they have nothing to replace it with. Remember their cry? Repeal and replace? Now are you just going to have a lot of folks losing their insurance as the race heats up? Immigration? Don’t rile them, you’re going to need the Latinos and Hispanics on election day. The flag dispute? Climate Change…who’s debunking science now?
How much assault can Hillary stand? No matter how ideas have changed, Bernie was a Socialist mayor, they’ll hound him on that. O’Malley and Chaffee? Recognition problems.
Well, you look around to see who might be the best person for the job. And the answer will dismay you because the best person for the job is already in the White House.
Look at it this way. Being president is OJT, on the job training. It appears to take five or so years to figure out how to do that job. Some never do. Of all the recent presidents, who would you have liked to see get a third term? Who actually could have won one? George W.? Hardly likely. Bill Clinton? Well, he certainly learned how to do the job after a rocky start, but we were tired of him, tired of the scandals. Reagan? Well, maybe many would have liked a third term, but it would have had to have been a much more youthful Reagan than the guy at the end, who clearly has lost it a bit (or a lot) by the age of 78. You can’t count Carter or Bush I, they couldn’t even win a second.
But this president, Barack Obama, has conducted himself with grace, integrity and dignity. There are stumbles along the way, but regardless of whether the Supreme Court overturns the health care act, its delivery will never be the same, and here in New York we’ve established the exchanges and won’t suffer. He’s preferred peace over war, negotiations over sanctions, presided over a largely restored economy, but agonizes with the common person who doesn’t have millions. Administration scandals are few. When you talk about the ship of state, that’s how it steers. You nudge it in the direction and it follows slowly. So it is with our society.
He’d easily outpace anyone out there. But he’s done. That’s the law. We’ll have to live with someone else’s learning curve, though we can’t imagine who from the current field would be up to it.
We’ll certainly miss Barack Obama’s presidency.