We all know who he is, he knows damn well we know, at some level he actually agrees. Self-pity is the only thing he still has going for him. He’s managed to deprive the U.S. even of this last bit of suspense. His one expressed hope is that we will honor precedent and defer our call until after the 2014 elections, as if that would change anything. As he sees it, if he repeats as Enemy of the Year a year from now, it at least won’t be recorded as a twofer. Always a doggedly slow learner, he’s begun to appreciate the false allure of re-election success.
To be sure, it was typically shrewd of him to escape to Alohaland to await official word, safely ensconced amid international waters far beyond the 12 nautical mile reach of U.S. continental jurisdiction. It’s a surprise he hasn’t come out yet for Hawaiian independence. He could be king, a major tourist attraction, a late blooming surfer, a major player in the lei trade, never too far from his next high school reunion. It’s not too late to relocate his library along Waikiki, a much better locale than lake-shored Chicago from which to observe the oceans as he continues to slow their rise. The rest of the planet will begin to heal.
His would-be successors are already preparing to lead us in new directions. Among the Democrats, there’s an obvious heir-apparent. She was first in 2013 to come up with a killer campaign slogan: “What difference does it make?” is how it sounded in the cleaned-up version. From where we sit, none at all, except that we can’t imagine Ms. Hillary taking up surfing at this stage of her life — J.F. Kerry, her successor at the State Department and possible rival in 2016, is another matter, given his command of parasailing. But to be fair to the fair Hillary, she’d look lovely begarlanded at a Hawaiian cookout. Certainly a better place for her to be at than the mean bars of Terre Haute, back when pigging out meant being left with a giant hangover. No one ever played the soothing ukulele for her in the Hoosier state.
In the charm department, she’ll be matched by her youthful number two, that cold cookie Susan Rice, who knows exactly how to respond to Lady Clinton’s campaign question: No difference, Mme. Secretary, because it’s a false controversy.
So who else might succeed the mighty incumbent? Definitely, Joe Biden cannot be dismissed. If you scrape the bottom of the barrel, he is what you find, towering above the competition. Joe insists on being taken seriously. (Don’t they all!) Okay, let’s humor him. He may be short in the campaign slogan department — “big effing deal” is the closest he’s come to one, without understanding just how on target he turned out to be. But he’s a tough hombre, a deep believer in balance. As an old foreign policy and national security player, he’ll need someone on the ticket to match his strategic and technological command. If Hillary will have Rice, Joe will select Edward Snowden, assuming his passport can be found and hasn’t been reissued in Cyrillic. With these two we’ll have a good mix of age, youth, wisdom, heroism, and both of them wired somewhere on their bodies.
Others will compete to be the next Obama. Who they might be escapes even the NSA. Not exactly what dealers in EOY futures want to hear. Could it be there really is no one out there to fill Obama’s shoes or sandals? Names are picked from a hat at random — Andy Cuomo, Lizzy Warren, Marty O’Malley, Adlai Stevenson, Al Smith, Charles Crist — but they might as well be confetti. Nothing takes, nothing sticks, nothing moves. Has Obamacarelessness killed liberalism for good? Let’s ask Kathleen Sebelius, forgotten but not gone. She’s our dark horse for 2016. Somebody's going to have to do time.
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