The poll numbers are abysmal and getting worse for President Obama, and there now are questions whether one of the country’s top political operators – current Secretary of State and former Sen. Hillary Clinton – may be nudging open the door to the campaign trail for 2012.
But Obama’s press secretary seeks no part of any such discussion, responding tersely today when the issue was raised by Les Kinsolving, WND’s correspondent at the White House.
Kinsolving asked, “What assurance has the president received from his secretary of state that in 2012 she will not run for president?”
“I am unaware of any assurance that this president needs about his secretary of state,” responded Gibbs, declining even to mention Clinton’s name.
Clinton was considered a front-runner for the Democratic nomination in 2008 until a newcomer proclaiming “hope” and “change” and cashing in on a rock-star-like persona, Barack Obama, passed her by.
Even today, there’s resentment among some in the Democratic Party establishment over Obama’s surge to power.
Wrote one forum participant at the U.S. News & World Report magazine website, “If Hillary Clinton is not the Democratic nominee in 2012 I am voting for the Republican. I don’t care if the Republican is Satan. Obama stole the nomination from Hillary Clinton in 2008. I once was a Democrat. I will never vote for another Democrat if they don’t get it together.”
The U.S News report said Clinton “is not, unsurprisingly, speaking publicly about her intentions beyond saying, as she told PBS’ Tavis Smiley … that she is ‘absolutely not interested’ in running again.”
But the report cited the “ongoing decline” in Obama’s numbers.
Today’s Rasmussen Reports daily tracking poll for the president confirmed 25 percent of the respondents “strongly approve” of the president. But 44 percent “strongly disapprove,” putting Obama underground by 19 points on that scale.
At the Hillary Unleashed blog was the question, “Is Hillary Clinton running for president in 2012?”
The answer followed, “I hope so! We’re running away from Barack Obama before he destroys America!”
The PoliticusUSA blog reported a Clinton associate was working to set up the www.hrc2012.com website name.
“Two years ago, when Clinton ran for Senate re-election, she launched HillaryClinton.com; she also unveiled HillPac.com for her political-action-committee donations. In fact, even when she ran for president this time around, she made do with her HillaryClinton.com website,” the blog commented. “So I ask again, what does www.hrc2012.com say?”
At today’s news briefing, Gibbs also declined to allow Kinsolving a second question, even though he had given Fox News nine; CNN seven; Reuters, CBS and AP six each; and NBC five.