James Carville comes out with guns blazing on CNN, blasting Obama for his poor handling of the Gulf oil spill. What’s up with that? Has Carville found his inner progressive at last or is there something else going on?

The headline on the Huffington Post, "Lackadaisical and Naive." Carville slams Obama for his abject handling of the disaster unfolding in the Gulf and says Obama is "risking everything" by going along with the BP strategy. And he is absolutely right on target.

"I think they actually believe that BP has some kind of a good motivation here," he said. "They’re naive! BP is trying to save money, save everything they can… They won’t tell us anything, and oddly enough, the government seems to be going along with it! Somebody has got to, like shake them and say, ‘These people don’t wish you well! They’re going to take you down!’"

Hell has frozen over; I agree with James Carville! A Beltway Insider has finally had it up to here with Obama and is expressing some moral outrage. It’s about time.

But maybe Carville also has another reason for calling out Obama so sharply. Maybe the Clintonista’s are sensing Obama’s political vulnerability, his lack of support from the liberal base of the party, the disaffection of white working class voters who can’t find jobs, the Americans who thought he would restore the rule of law, and anyone else who had bought into the "hope" and "change" rhetoric.

Both the Obama and Clinton camps are already preparing for the next Presidential primary. The Obama campaign for 2012 is called simply, the "re-elect" for short by staffers. The top campaign positions have been filled and there is a debate about where the campaign will be located.

Politico says, "The themes for Obama’s campaign are not yet chosen, but a top adviser said not to expect a radical surprise: ‘He knows who he is.’"

Down the other end of the field, the Clinton team is suiting up for another try. Clinton has indicated that she will not be Secretary of State after Obama’s first term in office ends.

The ongoing decline in the president’s approval ratings has more than a few Democrats concerned. The Democratic defeats in the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial elections and the Massachusetts Senate race have a number of them running scared, in much the same way that the party’s poor performance in 1978 helped propel Sen. Edward M. Kennedy forward to challenge incumbent President Jimmy Carter in 1980.

The chatter has increased in recent days about Clinton leaving the cabinet sometime in the first term, likely over some matter of principle, so that she can position herself to challenge Obama in 2012.

The idea of an Obama/Clinton rematch is an interesting idea, and Carville’s rant on CNN makes me think that this Hillary supporter doth protest too much about Obama’s handling of the the oil spill.

If this rematch does occur, there would be an opportunity for an authentic progressive challenger to join the race and to stake out territory to the left of both Clinton and Obama. This could mean that the conservative Democrats would be split between Clinton and Obama, while progressives could unite behind their candidate, whoever that might be.

I know it’s far-fetched, but anything is possible. However it plays out, there needs to be a progressive challenger to Obama in the 2012 primary. It’s absolutely crucial.

CarolynC

CarolynC

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