Outlook: To be a great president, Obama should not seek reelection in 2012

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Douglas E. Schoen and Pat Caddell
Monday, November 15, 2010; 11:00 AM

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Rocci Fisch: The chat will begin momentarily.

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The young voters: Obama's 2008 win was obviously assisted by enormous support by the 18-24 year old crowd, but do you think his decision to disregard his plan to start troop removal in Afghanistan in 2011 for a 2014 date will hurt his standing with the young voters? As someone within that age range who voted for Obama, I find that news of a 2014 pullout date as not only disheartening but dangerous, and for that I do not know if I can vote again for a man who so easily breaks his word not even a year later.

Douglas E. Schoen and Pat Caddell:

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President Obama and reelection: I think the concept is intriguing, but is it plausible? If President Obama did declare his intention not to run, why wouldn't that undermine his clout? Why would anyone even listen to him either here or abroad? The argument that he could bridge divides and push for reconciliation seems to fly in the face of reality.

Douglas E. Schoen and Pat Caddell:

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Obama urged not to seek second term: How, exactly, will declaring that he is a one-term president enable President Obama to do more for the country than he would otherwise, in light of the opposition he receives from the Republican Party?

Douglas E. Schoen and Pat Caddell:

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Repeating History: Do you think that if Obama declares that he will not be running for another term as president, it will be perceived as cutting his loses, given the political climate and circumstances, because he will be unlikely to win if he does run? Given the political and economic environment when Obama took office, comparisons cannot help but be made to Jimmy Carter. Is it better for the party if he just sacrifices himself now, as not to repeat history and lose the presidency altogether?

Douglas E. Schoen and Pat Caddell: It is not about politics or the Democratic party right now -- it is about the country.

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2012 Election: Given that David Axelrod announced his departure in early 2011 to lead President Obama's 2012 campaign, how likely is it that the president will take your advice and not seek re-election?

Douglas E. Schoen and Pat Caddell:

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What can WE do to help Obama understand this is a winning option?: I am a Democratic activist who has worked on campaigns for over 20 years and I agree completely with the ideas expressed in this article. My question is what can Democrats like me do to help make the president and his campaign machine understand that this is the best idea for Obama. the nation and the party?

Douglas E. Schoen and Pat Caddell:

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Article: How did you come to the conclusion that he should not seek reelection?

Douglas E. Schoen and Pat Caddell:

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History: Seems to me you are forgetting your history. Remember Teddy Roosevelt, who announced he wouldn't seek reelection, immediately becoming an ineffective lame duck for his second term? He regretted that decision to his grave.

Douglas E. Schoen and Pat Caddell:

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outrageous: Your assertion that declining a reelection bid won't make the president a lame duck is very lacking in support. If Obama were to make such a ridiculous decision, he would immediately lose all influence. The 2012 campaign would immediately begin, and Senate Democrats would be positioning themselves for a run--not helping Obama pass anything.

Douglas E. Schoen and Pat Caddell: The 2012 campaign has begun.President Obama already lacks influence.

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Compromise: Just wanted to say that the idea that Republicans will suddenly be open to bipartisan compromise if Obama does this is completely laughable.

Douglas E. Schoen and Pat Caddell: The Republicans would be forced to compromise because the country would demand it.

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Lame duck: Please expand on the following key assertion: "Forgoing another term would not render Obama a lame duck... [It] would grant him much greater leverage with Republicans and would make it harder for opponents... to be uncooperative." How so? Why exactly would the president have greater leverage?

Douglas E. Schoen and Pat Caddell: He would have greater leverage because he would put the country first. "hand to hand combat" or a political war where Mitch McConnell says that his top priority is making sure President Obama does not win the 2012 election, everyone loses.

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REACTION FROM DEMOCRATS IN HOUSE: If Obama were to follow through and announce that he's not running, his influence with the most obdurate portion of government, his own party in the House, would be gone.do you agree?

Douglas E. Schoen and Pat Caddell:

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Feasibility: I loved your article and it seems like it could really help the nation. How feasible do you think this is though? Do you really see Obama giving up his legacy in hopes that the GOP falls in line and works with him?

Douglas E. Schoen and Pat Caddell:

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2012 Presidential Election: This is a comment, not a question. I believe you are essentially correct in your assessment. Although I am not an Obama fan, I think he could GOVERN exactly the way you suggest, WITHOUT announcing his intent to not run, and IF he succeeded in achieving the things you discuss, he would be then be in the best possible position TO RUN.

Douglas E. Schoen and Pat Caddell:

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Economy: I seem to recall from classes I've taken on the economy that the president doesn't have that much to do with how the economic outcome. What affects the economy is his policies? Do you believe his policies are not centrist policies?

Douglas E. Schoen and Pat Caddell: We believe his policies have been ineffective.The President's problem with economic policy is the same that we have seen on his recent Asian trip.

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Surrender to the Republicans: Would you not agree that, should the president choose not to run for a second term, that he'd be surrendering to the extreme bullying of the Republicans and essentially granting them victory in their main objective--denying the president a second term?

Douglas E. Schoen and Pat Caddell:

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So who runs in 2012?: Assuming Obama chose not to run for re-election, doesn't this greatly strengthen the Republicans' chances for a win in 2012? It's hard to believe a Democrat could win the general election if the president gives up, which is how most people will see it. It's easy to believe that a Republican president would dismantle any accomplishments Obama might make in the next two years.

Douglas E. Schoen and Pat Caddell:

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Rocci Fisch: Opinion | One and done: To be a great president, Obama should not seek reelection in 2012

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The Party of No: When the opposing party reflexively rejects just about everything Obama proposes, even when these jibe with positions the party took under Bush, is it really fair to blame the gridlock on Obama? From what I've seen, he has repeatedly tried compromising and the other side hasn't budged.

Douglas E. Schoen and Pat Caddell: Our point is that both sides are at fault.

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Wouldn't the one term idea appeal to all Presidents?: If not, why do you think it applies to Obama alone?

Douglas E. Schoen and Pat Caddell:

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Let the Campaigning Begin?: Thanks for taking questions today and for your provocative article. If Obama would follow your advice (which is extremely unlikely), wouldn't that just push up the campaign process even more? Already we have the jockeying for position (see Pawlenty, Palin, Gingrich, etc.)...if Obama took himself out of the running, 2012 would be all we would hear about. Whatever "higher ground" he would achieve would be quickly drowned out by both parties.

Douglas E. Schoen and Pat Caddell: The campaign has begun regardless of what President Obama has done.

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So who would be next?: Would you suggest that Obama nominate or suggest a potential successor, or should he just leave the decision to a massive squabble or power fight amongst the Democratic leadership?

Douglas E. Schoen and Pat Caddell:

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Ft. Washington: If Obama were to announce he wasn't running for a second term what motivation would Republicans have for working with him? How did you come to this, in my opinion, rather strange conclusion? Wouldn't Republicans and Democrats who covet the presidency just position themselves to run? Wouldn't that just create more gridlock?

Douglas E. Schoen and Pat Caddell:

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Rocci Fisch: Thank you for joining in.


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