Despite having a pretty good December, with employment down below 9% and a last minute payroll tax extension that seemed to be a Democrat victory, 2011 has been a tough year for Obama and the Democratic party.With only a few days to go before Iowa the entirety of the media is focused on the Republican race. As of right now the Democratic party is not very healthy despite having both the Senate and the President. The Republican party has all the rising stars and there seem to be no high profile Democrats waiting in the wings(pun intended). While they would never admit it, I believe that hardcore Republican strategists really don’t want this election all that badly. While it would be very nice to win it, House Republicans have proven that they are very effective at stopping nearly anything Obama does. While it is making the party look bad they are all definitely looking forward to 2016. Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal both look good and are the wonder kids of the Republican party and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are the top Democrats.They also have more established leaders such as Jon Huntsman(who appears to be very well set for a 2016 run and he’s doing pretty well right now considering he basically hasn’t left the state of New Hampshire in a couple months) and the always good Mitt Romney. Advantage Republicans. If Obama wins again this year they will be in the same position if things stay pretty much the same, and if they get better the Republicans would have no problem taking credit for it(see Newt Gingrich circa 1996). And on the flip side if things get worse, it will be a sure shot for the Republicans. Right now it is very likely that both sides will have a very good shot at the White House just like in 2008. Theoretically at least, right now the Democrats do not have any real high profile contenders. It’s not that don’t have any, it’s just that people don’t know about them. One excellent example is Mark Warner, the soon-to-be senior senator from Virginia. He is intelligent(see Harvard Law School) and a moderate enough that it is likely that independent voters would flock to him. But right now he does not have the exposure that he should have. Obama needs to think about his party and perhaps consider dropping Joe Biden and picking someone like Mark Warner up. Warner said in 2006 that he would not peruse a 2008 Presidential run citing that he did not want to disrupt his family life, but I believe that he would accept a Vice Presidential nomination as The White House is not that far from his home in Alexandria, Virginia. While the chances of Obama dropping Biden are very slim, Democratic leaders need to start thinking about the longterm health of the party. The Democratic party is aging and the Republican party is getting younger, not a good combination for the Democrats especially when the economy is not doing well and the Democrats have presided over a bad economy and little job growth.
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