For the first time, I've now seen a real threat to Obama in the 2012 Primary. It's Senator Jim Webb. He seems to have sensed the pulse of the temperament in the nation right now, and sounds willing to lead from the center, instead of a the radical left. Senator Webb said in a pre-State of the Union remark that:
The overriding objective of the President and the Congress over the next year must be to offer the kind of leadership that regains the confidence of the American people in our system, in our deliberative process, and above all in our leaders. With that in mind, my colleagues on both sides of the aisle should work ever harder to approach the issues that face us with less partisan maneuvering and a more genuine commitment to resolving the truly daunting challenges that now face working Americans.That is the type of language people want to hear right now. Frankly, it's the type of language that got Obama elected in the first place. People of most stripes are very tired of the demonizing of the opposite party and unwillingness to give credit to either party for a good idea. For instance, I sensed that the democrats wanted to actually lose in Iraq, just to prove they were right and make Bush look bad. Another quote that will resonate with the Tea Party types is:
"To the American voters, I would offer this small piece of advice: Be just as shrewd and ruthless in your demands on our leaders as the political wizards who are running these campaigns are in their strategies designed to get your vote," Webb wrote in his 2008 book, "A Time to Fight: Reclaiming a Fair and Just America."The fact that he wrote these words before the Tea Party movement really got its legs makes his words believable as his true sentiment rather than a tailored message aimed to target popularity among the rising Tea Partiers.
Lately, I'm becoming more aware that even the democrats are split into 2 idealogies right now. There are the leftist progressives and the left-of-center democrats. You find similar splits in the GOP, but with public opinion shifting to a place right of Obama's radical agenda, a center democrat could really make an interesting race in 2012, first for the primary and then the presidency. If he won the primary, and upon scrutiny of his words we find that they match up with his votes in the next potentially very contentious year (even among the democrats), I think he could be a very attractive candidate in 2012, pulling support from both disenchanted Dems, Independents, and Tea Party supporters. I would go as far as to say that if a democratic primary were to happen tomorrow, Webb would beat Obama.
Even I would take a close look just because balance of power among the branches of government is often the best way to really address concerns in a way that doesn't divide the country. Everyone seems to think that the Tea Party movement will either end up being a party unto itself or hook itself up to the Republican party in an election. A slightly left of center democrat for president and a Republican majority in Congress could be the most healing and appealing thing for the country right now.
The Tea Party stands for a common sense approach to solving our problems. If my impression of Webb gleaned from the article sited above holds up over the next few years, he might just fit the bill. I will at least look at him more closely.