Tuesday, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin joined the chorus of politicians urging for Democrats to put forth a presidential candidate to challenge President Obama. Speaking on Fox News she said, "More and more Democrats are going to realize that if they want to retain the Democrat control of the White House they're going to have to put somebody up in the primary against Obama." A few weeks ago, former Vice President Dick Cheney reflected on the prospect of a Democratic challenger, specifically Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in an ABC News interview to promote his book. "Maybe if the Obama record is bad enough—and these days it's not very good, given the shape of the economy—maybe there will be enough ferment in the Democratic Party so that there will be a primary on their side." Former third party presidential candidate Ralph Nader also encouraged a Democratic primary candidate, so that the progressive issues that are often "muted and ignored" will be forced to the forefront of Obama's 2012 campaign.
With unemployment stuck at 9 percent, Obama's popularity continues to sink—for the first time in his presidency, less than half of the country views him favorably (47 percent according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll). After a centrist attempt at a "Grand Bargain" compromise failed in the summer's debt-ceiling debate, Obama adopted a more progressive approach with his jobs and deficit plans, the latter including the contentious "Buffett Rule" that raises taxes on the wealthy. Yet his efforts to rile up his base have fallen short, with both moderate and liberal Democrats expressing doubt about some of his proposals. Is it time for Democrats to consider a primary election? Or is the suggestion, particularly as it comes from Republicans Cheney and Palin, just political meddling by the opposition?
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Previously: Do the Rich Pay Enough in Taxes?