Conservative columnist Douglas MacKinnon, a level-headed veteran of the White House political wars, is not given to flights of utter fancy. So when we saw him seriously speculating on the prospect of the Democratic Party replacing Joe Biden with a Hillary Clinton/Barack Obama ticket, we knew we had to at least give it some consideration, no matter how outlandish it might sound.
Democrats are palpably panicked about the thought of Biden going nose-to-nose with Trump this fall, even with the coronavirus recession giving them a better platform than they had a few months ago. Biden can’t get through a speech without making a gaffe worthy of the highlight reel, and he has an extremely serious sexual assault allegation now hanging over his campaign. Put that together with his limited charisma, his limited appeal to far-left Democratic voters, and his son’s questionable dealings in Ukraine, and you have all the major ingredients for an electoral disaster. If Democratic Party leaders aren’t at least entertaining the idea of making a big change, they are derelict in their duty.
MacKinnon is not, of course, the first person to suggest that Democrats may want to start looking elsewhere for their knight in shining armor. Bernie Sanders’ fans are, of course, hoping that their socialist savior will be called off the bench to finally get his big moment to shine. Others want to see Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York use his coronavirus celebrity to springboard to the White House. And yes, there has been speculation that Michelle Obama might be slapped on the ticket – either to replace Biden or to serve as his running mate.
But so far as we can tell, this is the first time we’ve heard anyone speculate about the possibility of Biden being replaced by Hillary Clinton and the 44th President of the United States.
“Some Democrats have confessed to me that having Biden drop out, for whatever reason, might not be bad news since they aren’t convinced he can beat Trump in November, despite polls showing him in the lead at this point. And they believe (perhaps a bit wistfully, in some respects) that a Clinton-Obama ticket would be a nightmare for Trump,” writes MacKinnon at The Hill.
MacKinnon acknowledges the obvious problem with this calculation, which is that Obama – being term-limited out of running for president again – may not even be eligible to serve as vice president.
“The 12th Amendment states that no one ‘ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice President of the United States.’ The 22nd Amendment — the ‘not Franklin Delano Roosevelt again’ amendment — states that ‘no person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice,’” MacKinnon writes.
“The operative word here might be ‘elected,’” he muses. “If Obama were selected as Clinton’s running mate, and she had to leave office for any reason, then Obama would succeed her. At least one constitutional expert is on record saying there is nothing to prevent such a scenario.”
Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse, now we have to consider the possibility of Barack Obama coming back to the Oval Office?
Thanks, Douglas, for that mental image. Thanks a lot.