COMMENTARY | Radio talk show host Michael Medved presents what for many will be a nightmare scenario: Even if President Obama were defeated for reelection next year, America will not see the last of him or of the name “Obama.”
The first possibility Medved suggests is that Obama might come back and try to run in 2016, should he be denied a second term in 2012. President Grover Cleveland accomplished this in the late 19th century.
Color this writer skeptical. While Medved does not think that Obama will be defeated in a blow out landslide, I am not so certain. A combination of a bad economy and continued chaos abroad does not suggest either an Obama victory or even a close election. It suggests something akin to 1980, when Ronald Reagan defeated President Jimmy Carter in detail.
Also, Medved may be of the belief that Obama, owing to his status as the first African American president, is in an unassailable position, but it is a belief that is contradicted by the evidence. The president is facing a great deal of discontent on his left, owing to unhappiness for not carrying the liberal agenda to the extent thought desirable. This discontent may not be enough for Obama to draw a primary challenger, but, coupled with an electoral defeat in 2012, that makes a comeback very unlikely.
The other possibility is Michele Obama. Here Medved makes a more compelling case. To be sure, the idea of Michelle running for president in 2016 after a second Barack term is very unlikely. Also, an attempt to rise to president from first lady is without precedent, and thus also unlikely.
However, Michelle could take the Hillary Clinton route to the presidency, first winning a Senate seat, most likely in Illinois, then running either in 2016 against an incumbent Republican or in 2020 in an open race, presuming that a Republican who replaces her husband in 2012 has two terms.
I do not think that either possibility, Barack doing a Grover Cleveland or a Michele presidential run, would be unopposed. There are plenty of Democratic governors, senators, and House members who hear “hail to the chief” in their dreams. Who might rise up to run in 2016 and 2020 are as yet unknown. But remember: Clinton, once thought a shoe-in for 2008, had her presidential aspirations dashed by an obscure U.S. senator named — Barack Obama.
Of course, if one is willing to wait, there is always Sasha and/or Mala in the 2050s or 2060s.
Source: Obama for Prez in 2016! Michael Medved, Daily Beast, June 23, 2011