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Peter D. Rosenstein

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Obama, Biden and Hillary Clinton

Posted: 01/09/12 04:17 PM ET

There are people whose sensibilities keep getting out of joint when Hillary's name is mentioned as a replacement for Biden on the ticket in 2012. They tend to think of it as purely a fantasy of Hillary supporters and an insult to Obama. A recent opinion piece in The Washington Post suggested that people "put down the Obama-Clinton crack pipe." I don't think the discussion or idea is equivalent to smoking a crack-pipe, but then I don't know exactly what that means since I have never smoked one. I do believe it is more a strong desire to see the Democratic Party do everything possible to ensure that President Obama is reelected to a second term.

I am a strong and unequivocal supporter of the Obama/Biden ticket for reelection. In the interest of full disclosure I was a supporter of Hillary's before I endorsed Obama in 2008, but this year I have contributed to the Obama/Biden campaign and have connected the campaign with individuals that resulted in a big fundraiser.

Every Democrat should be working to see that as the campaign moves into full swing -- that the closer to the nominating convention we come -- the Obama/Biden ticket will be way ahead of what I assume will be a Romney/somebody ticket. I think that will be the case because the president will have made his case for a second term to the American people in a clear and strong voice. I once heard the president respond to someone who questioned the strategy of his reelection campaign by saying, "You forget, a little more than six years ago I was an Illinois state senator and today I am the President, I am a pretty good campaigner." That is absolutely true and I believe the Obama/Biden ticket will win based on both his campaigning ability and on what they have accomplished in his first term. Barack Obama came into office facing the worst economic crisis the world has seen since the Great Depression and the United States was fighting two wars. Since Jan. 20, 2009 he has made great strides in all areas, and we are seeing the results and the U.S. economy is on the road to recovery. He has kept his promise to bring the troops home from Iraq and is working hard to end the war in Afghanistan. Since January 2011, he has had to fight an intransigent do-nothing Congress whose Republican leaders would rather see the country slide back down into the abyss than give the president any new chance to claim success.

There have been complaints that the left wing of the party is too strident and too tough on the president -- that the calls from the base (women, Latinos, African Americans, unions and the LGBT community) that more should be done are too loud. But, this is something that every Democrat president in recent times has had to deal with. An example would be the LGBT community, while recognizing how far it has come in this administration including the signature accomplishments of passing the Matthew Shepard Act and the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, is still pushing the president for more and asking him among other things to fight harder for ENDA and to fully 'evolve' with regard to marriage-equality. No community should be expected to just sit back and be satisfied when they don't have full civil and human rights. There is the recognition in the groups that make up the Democrat base, such as unions, that if they don't continue to push and keep the pressure on that we will backslide and face policies like those of Governors' Scott Walker in Wisconsin or Rick Scott in Florida.

But that continued pressure doesn't mean the base won't be out in full-force campaigning their hearts out to reelect the Obama/Biden team.

There is, among the party faithful, the knowledge of the reality that in today's acrimonious climate, elections are often won and lost depending on who can get the biggest turnout possible from their base and then bring the most Independent voters into the fold. That is why one hears the continued chatter about replacing Joe Biden with Hillary Clinton on the ticket.

It isn't only die-hard Clinton supporters and it isn't a matter of not liking or respecting Joe Biden. But rather it is recognizing the outside possibility that there could be a need to create more excitement around the ticket if it isn't ahead in the polls and on a track to victory as the convention approaches. Even those who don't want this kind of discussion to continue must understand the kind of excitement that would be created by putting Hillary on the ticket would be like nothing we have seen in years. No one should ever forget that Hillary got 18 million votes in the primaries and since then her polling has only gone up. One person recently said, "Just imagine the excitement if the 'four shot' at the convention; the raising of hands after the President's acceptance speech, would be Michelle, the President, Hillary and Bill."

I for one want to see the president win reelection with Joe Biden as his running mate and truly believe that Hillary Clinton does as well. I think Biden has been a great vice president and a true partner with Obama and deserves to be on the ticket. But the bottom line is wanting the party to do whatever is necessary to ensure that Barack Obama is president for the next four years. The United States and the world are facing critical decisions and continued turbulent times. This election will help determine our destiny and we need President Obama there for another four years.