Obama should put Bush on the ticket

Dorian Davis Adjunct Journalism Professor, Marymount Manhattan College
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Since Douglas Wilder’s suggestion in August that President Obama replace Joe Biden with Hillary Clinton to energize Democrats for his reelection bid, speculation has been rampant — despite official White House denials — that an Obama-Clinton ticket could be in the offing. But with Democrats less popular than live hookers at Charlie Sheen’s house, the best VP option might not be Clinton but George W. Bush.

Once dubbed “the worst president in history” by Rolling Stone, the man whose public approval rating cratered at 25 percent in June 2008, and whom 98 percent of historians in one poll called a “failure,” seems to be on the upswing. Last spring, for instance, CSPAN deemed him the 36th best president — up 18 percent from last place. Bush came in 2 points behind Obama in a CNN poll last month. And pollster Doug Schoen has Bush beating Obama now, 48/43.

Obama, on the other hand, is disappointing more people than last season’s American Idol. Between the flopped stimulus bill and the failed healthcare law, last Monday’s unidentified missile off the California coastline is the first thing on Obama’s watch to make it off the ground. While he started with a 69 percent job approval rating, Gallup now has him at 44. And Rasmussen has his presidential approval index at -16.

Bill Clinton and other prominent Democrats have been claiming for the past 8 months that Obama can rebound. But waiting for that to happen is like waiting for Godot. It’s time for drastic action.

Putting Hillary on the ticket would ignite the same old anti-Clinton sentiment that divided Democrats in the first place and undermine Obama’s change message. But putting Bush on there would be smart for two reasons: For Democrats, it would make Obama look better in contrast. And for the Republicans, it would balance the ticket. Democrats ran as Republicans in the midterms. Why not run with one?

Implausible? Fine.

But that’s the situation Democrats are in now: “the most unpopular president in modern history,” per a CNN poll, is more popular than their presumptive nominee. No wonder Democrat pollsters Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen wrote in the Washington Post last Sunday that Obama should forego a second term. Obama’s presidency up to now makes even Democrats wish that King Ferdinand had never financed that boat trip.

Dorian Davis is a former MTV HITS star and MTV News content developer-turned-Flaming Politics blogger and Libertarian writer. Published in Business Week, NY Daily News, XY & more. National Journalism Center alum. NYU and CUNY grad. Journalism professor at Marymount Manhattan College.