Tales from the Trail

White House Intrigue: Could Hillary Replace Joe?

OBAMA/Could Hillary replace Joe as Barack’s main squeeze in 2012? That’s the juicy bit of palace intrigue enlivening today’s U.S. political melodrama.

It started when author Bob Woodward told CNN that the idea of a Clinton-Biden switch was “on the table” — at least among some Clinton advisers. A switch would mean Hillary becoming President Obama’s vice presidential running mate and Joe taking up her State Department chores.

“President Obama needs some of the women, Latinos, retirees that she did so well with during the 2008 primaries. And so they switch jobs,” explained the veteran journalist whose new book, “Obama’s Wars,”  offers an inside look at the administration. 

It may not be a bad idea given the latest Pew poll showing that Latinos are disillusioned with the political process. Only 51 percent of Latino registered voters are sure to get to the polls in the November midterm elections, according to Pew. That’s bad news for Democrats because Latinos favor them over Republicans by a margin of 65 percent to 22 percent.

But some who might welcome a Clinton-Biden switch could have more than the 2012 campaign in mind.
    
“The other interesting question is (that) Hillary Clinton could run in her own right in 2016 and be younger than Ronald Reagan when he was WATERGATEelected president,” Woodward added. For the record, Hillary would be 65. Ronnie was the oldest incoming president ever, at 69.

Bomb plot thrusts Obama into political storm

President Barack Obama is weathering a political storm over last month’s suspected al Qaeda plot to bomb a Detroit-bound plane, particularly from Republicans who say he dropped the ball on security while pursuing healthcare and climate reforms. But how much substance there is behind the allegations may depend on who’s talking.

Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina told NBC’s Today show that he believes Obama just woke up to the gravity of the al Qaeda threat. SECURITY-AIRLINE/OBAMA

“A lot of us have been concerned over the last year that the president did seem to downplay the threat of terror. He doesn’t use the word anymore. He hesitates to say that there is a war on terror,” DeMint said.

Was Afghan report leaker listening to NPR this weekend?

BRITAIN WHISTLEBLOWER

Legendary whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, the former analyst who released the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War, offered some well-timed advice Sunday when he appeared on NPR’s On the Media. In an interview with host Brooke Gladstone, he urged government insiders to leak information about a potential build-up of U.S. troops in Afghanistan:

“There are a lot of people looking at estimates that are being withheld from the public … They should ask themselves, did my oath to uphold and support the Constitution really permit me to keep quiet when I see the public being lied to?

“I’m sure there are many people in the Pentagon and the CIA and the White House who are in my shoes right now. My advice to them is, don’t do what I did, don’t reveal it six years from now, don’t wait till the escalation has occurred. Instead, they should do what I wish I had done in 1965, which is to the tell the public what I believed right then: That my president was making a terrible mistake, that Congress should hold hearings, Congress should demand the truth and Congress should set him straight.”