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John Phillips: Why Hillary Clinton must run in 2012

Hillary Clinton Told You So Button 2012If Hillary Clinton's primary voters and President Obama had their relationship status listed on their Facebook pages, it would change from “Married” to “It's complicated.”

To be fair, Hillary voters never fell in love with Obama, they just fell in line. Their relationship is less like a Julia Roberts chick flick and more like a Bengali arranged marriage.  

Because of their arrangement, Hillary-loving Obama voters are quick to jump ship whenever Mr. Hope-and-Change looks like he's getting played again by his political opponents, is in over his head or is dissing their girl.

Despite Obama's anti-climactic campaign announcement just now, according to all the recent polls, Hillary voters aren't only jumping ship –- they're taking their fins, snorkels and pina coladas with them.

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows President Obama's approval rating at....

...a pathetic 42% –- down four points from early March. The American public isn't impressed with his handling of the crisis in Libya either -– with 47% of the public against the war and 58% of registered voters saying the president has not clearly stated U.S. goals for the mission. 

Hillary Clinton 2012 button These numbers are bad –- really bad –- CNN prime time ratings bad.

To put them into context, according to Gallup, 76% of Americans supported military action against Iraq in 2003, 90% gave the A-OK for strikes against Afghanistan in 2001, and 65% approved of putting boots on the ground in Somalia in 1993. 

It's also important to state that this isn't part of a "throw all the bums out" mood directed at Washington.

The approval numbers for Hillary are nearing an all-time high –- with Gallup showing 66% of Americans giving "Hill the Thrill" a big thumbs up –- up from 61% in July.

This leads to the questions: Why are one out of three Hillary lovers giving Obama bad marks? Will they stick with him in November 2012?

And, most importantly, if she senses enough blood in the water, will Hillary quit the administration and launch a primary bid against Obama?

Hill-rage at Obama

Hillary Clinton's big selling point during the 2008 Democratic primaries was that she was an experienced hand who's been around the block a few times...not like how her husband has been around the block...but, you get the point.

Then-Sen. Clinton's "3 AM Phone Call" ad drove that point home. The 30-second TV spot raised the possibility of a future world crisis and asked voters who they would want in the White House making the big decisions if all hell broke loose. 

Hillary Clinton Get It RIGHT in 2012 button Hillary voters ate it up with a spoon –- deciding that an awakened and enraged Clinton with cold cream on her face and curlers in her hair is far scarier to third-world despots than an ex-Illinois state senator.

The military action in Libya is Team Hillary's 'I told you so' moment...with Hillary serving as the realistic, aggressive war hawk and Obama being a not-ready-for-prime-time waffler.

This frustration was expressed by a Clinton insider in the British newspaper The Daily, who said, "Obviously, she’s not happy with dealing with a president who can’t decide if today is Tuesday or Wednesday, who can’t make his mind’s like playing sports with a bunch of amateurs. And she doesn’t have any power. She’s trying to do what she can to keep things from imploding.”

This may not be a vote of no confidence...but at a minimum, it's voting 'present.'

Hill today, gone tomorrow

Hillary voters weren't swooned by Obama in the 2008 Democratic primaries and many are abandoning him in public opinion surveys today. But are they mad enough to ride the elephant in 2012? 

Get out the saddle, because that's exactly what they did in 2010.

Obama Button She Wouldnt Dare In the midterm elections, while it's true the Democrats were routed everywhere, they got especially creamed in states where Hillary did well. In House races, the Democrats lost four seats in Florida, six in New York, five in Ohio, four in Pennsylvania and three in Texas –- all states Hillary carried in the 2008 Democratic primaries. 

Meanwhile, the Democrats strengthened their hand in places that went heavily for Obama in 2008 –- with pickups in Hawaii, Delaware and the MSNBC prime-time lineup.

The lesson: Hillary voters aren't only willing to pull the plug on their fellow Democrats -– they're willing to yank it like they're starting a lawn mower.

What the Hill? Hillary in 2012?

While it's true the Clintons are ambitious people, they've never been known to go on suicide missions -– those are for terrorists and hotel chains willing to rent rooms to Charlie Sheen. 

Despite her contemporary denials, Hillary would only throw her hat in the ring if she thought she had a better than even chance at moving back into the White House. Obama is looking weak, but not weak enough to justify a primary challenge...yet.

If Libya turns into a full blown disaster...resulting in billions of dollars wasted, boots on the ground and abysmal public opinion numbers, my money is on Hillary resigning her post as secretary of State and jumping in the 2012 primary.

She can even rerun the "3 AM Phone Call" ad...with the tagline 'See, I told you so.'

Previous John Phillips' Ticket items

For Republicans in 2012, it's Sarah Palin or another big fat L

At CPAC with Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Sarah Palin

Lessons from a political visit to Washington

-- John Phillips


Strangely enough, a man named John Phillips hosts “The John Phillips Show” on Talk Radio 790 KABC in Los Angeles, which can be heard weeknights from 6 to 10 p.m. Pacific.  Outside Southern California, his show is available live online at  Also follow Phillips on Twitter  @JohnnyDontLike

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Photos: Andrew Malcolm

Comments () | Archives (213)

The comments to this entry are closed.

4-6-2011 Jack,

The question: “Why are one out of three Hillary lovers giving Obama bad marks?”

Jack you probably won’t like my reason, you being from Nevada, but here it is! Inspite of pleas, Obama has continued to Terrorize, Maimed and Kill America’s wild horses-burros and annihilated them from their legal home ranges!!!

Personally, I would feel much safer if it were Hillary that was getting that 3AM Phone Call. She is a true “work horse”! Obama is just too laid-back waiting for the dust/smoke to clear before he appears from his “trips”.

Betty L. Kelly, M.D. (retired pediatrician, long-time wild horse-burro advocate/rescuer)
Carson City NV 89704 (Northern Nevada resident since 1970)

We've been seeing and hearing about Hillery for the last 20 years. That's more than enough. She needs to just leave the political seen and fade away. Pop up occasionally with all the other former Presidents and First Lady's, then fade back into the wood work and let the present( hopefully new future ) politicians try to see if they can truly represent us any better than what her and all her political buddies have.Are people actually happy with the way our Country has turned in the last 20 years?

This article is just too funny! Hillary for President? Not in my lifetime! And Obama has run his course, and I don't think he stands a chance of re-election (sorry, Barrack, you had your chance, and failed miserably...good luck as a "has-been!") And Hillary, you won't need to resign your position as Secretary of State...the next administration will take care of it for you!

I have maintained for a long time that Hillary Clinton will be the next POTUS, elected by the same numbskulls who elected Obama. She will follow the same policies and get the same results. The only winner will be George Soros, assuming MOSSAD doesn't take him out by then.

Hillary will never break ranks and mount an insurgent Gene McCarthy-type challenge to Obama.

Obama's only opposition in the Democratic primaries, I suppose, will come from symbolic protest candidates like former Sen. Mike Gravel or historian Darcy Richardson, both of whom have indicated that they're open to the idea of mounting such an effort.

Is this John Phillips the same one who used to be in the Mama & Papas? I sure hope he's wrong about Hillary. She is a power-mad harridan and I for one would be happy to see her hop on her broom and fly back to some nice little trailer park in Arkansas. She can take charming Billy with her.

If any one have any doubts of Hillary's win, he or she must send to Lybia to join the Lybian forces. Hell this stunning woman is a real winner, politician, mother, friend of all nations.
My vote will not be my secret, I will support her.


"deciding that an awakened and enraged Clinton with cold cream on her face and curlers in her hair is far scarier to third-world despots than an ex-Illinois state senator."
What does cold cream and curlers have to do with despots? Oh, right, nothing. Yet another sexist comment (YASC). I don't know who Philips is and won't bother to find out. He's just another male "reporter/whatever" who can't comment on a woman's ideas, politics or abilities without reducing her to cold cream and curlers. But hey, thanks. I love the "cold cream and curlers" alliteration. I'll use it as a shining example of YASC.

If she DID, wouldn't she lose her spot as Sec. of State? Seems too risky.

If obama is the only choice on the democratic ticket then like many, I will stay home. I really didn't want to vote for him in 2008 because he was inexperienced, he leaned to the conservative side a little too much and he had no clue of what he was getting into. But the choice was an older version of bush with an airhead for a running mate.

So what do we have now? A darker version of bush. Hillary give us anothher chance!

This article is extremely biased; it's less about information than it is about extremely played out caricature depictions. It mischaracterises Clinton AND Clinton supporters to a ridiculous degree. It seems like something one of the right-wing conservative media pundits who are generally destroying the intelligence of our population via sensationalized if not outright false tripe would write.

No, a lot of Clinton supporters did and do support Immediately after the 2008 Democratic primary, no they didn't, and much of that had more to do with the sexist attacks aimed at her. Most people who supported Clinton supported her because they believed she was the right person to lead the Democratic party and help the country recover from the damage of the Bush years. I'd say she's done enormous, enormous work for the Democrats throughout the years, she's still doing a smashing job as Secretary of State, and she and Obama seem to make a GREAT team, actually - if they ran Obama-Clinton in 2012, they'd win for sure and get this country back on track. I think people appreciate her experience and savvy, and his charisma, and they recognize they both bring different and important skills to the table that would work awesomely together.

It is silly to think she will run in 2012. This will be bad for her and a disaster for the democratic party. She will most likely run with President Obama as VP. This will be great for the party and will probably happen!

First let me state that I like B.O. but still believe he was the wrong man for the 2008 presidential election. I think Hillary was the only viable candidate for the pressing issues in 2008. My suggestion to Mr. Obama is drop Biden and replace him with Hillary, this will excite the democratic base, get the media talking about you (instead of the G.O.P.) and it's tea "tainted" issues. And finally get people like me and 18 million "Hillary supporters" back to work to get this ticket elected and move this country forward by allowing Hillary to advice Mr. Obama. And also, like in 2008 we would make history....AGAIN!

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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