Frustrated and anxious Democrats grumble privately that their party’s prospects for 2012 would be “much improved” without President Barack Obama on the ticket and some are saying they won’t be contributing to his re-election campaign or campaigning for him next year.
“I’ve had it. Obama is a failure to America and to the principles of the Democratic party,” says longtime activist Betty Ackerman of Chicago — Obama’s home town. “I wish he would pull a Lyndon and step down,” she added, referring to President Lyndon Johnson‘s decision not to seek re-election in the 1968 campaign.
In private meetings at the Democratic National Committee on Capitol Hill, nervous political strategists look at dismal fundraising numbers for the party’s candidates and polls that show declining public confidence in both the President and his party.
“We’re in trouble, there is no doubt about that,” says one DNC staffer, who asked not to be identified. “We face serious problems going into 2012.”
Some political pros flash back to the 2008 political primary and say the party’s fortunes would be “much improved” if Hillary Clinton had captured the nomination.
“Hillary would have made a much better President,” says Ackerman. “She wouldn’t be lost like Obama.”
At the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, strategists say more and more candidates say they don’t want the President campaigning in their districts and don’t want any ads paid for by the committee to link them with Obama.
“Obama has become the George W. Bush of the Democratic party,” says one field operative. “Nobody wants anything to do with him.”
Democratic operative Jonathan Brinkley says he advises his clients to “stay the hell away from Obama” is they want to win in 2012.
“It’s every donkey for his or her self next year,” he says.