By Harry C. Alford
President Barack Obama has won his re-election. That history is clear and the big question now is who in the Democratic Party will succeed him as president in 2016. Prior to now, it was certain to be Hillary Clinton. But when you look at the present situation doubts about her prospects rise to the fullest. Let’s consider a few current events that will certainly have consequence in the next presidential election.
During the race for 2004, candidate John Kerry spotted the talent of Barack Obama. He gave him a great debut by allowing him to keynote the Democratic National Convention. The junior senator from Illinois responded with one of his greatest speeches and from that point on the whole world knows the name Barack Obama. The two have been close ever since but make it a point to keep that friendship in the background.
With the exception of his criticism of the Vietnam War and other military endeavors, Senator Kerry’s slate is pretty clean. His strong point is foreign affairs and he chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. When Senator Barbara Boxer botched the attempt to pass cap and trade through the Senate, President Obama asked Senator Kerry to take over the stewardship of the bill. It failed but President Obama’s trust of John Kerry was apparent. Foreign affairs and environmental issues are Senator Kerry’s strong suit.
Let me also disclose that I like John Kerry as a person. I did not support him in the 2004 campaign but he apparently holds no grudge. We held a convention in New Orleans in 2006 in support of the rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. Senators Kerry and Barack Obama were in the area at the time and we asked both to come and speak. Obama did not respond at all but Senator Kerry immediately accepted. When I went to his hotel room to receive and escort him to the podium, he asked me to come in for a few minutes. He struck up a conversation and repeatedly stated that he thought I was a “good man.” I was humbled and reciprocated the compliment. From that point on my opinion of him grew dramatically.
So here we are in 2013, and what is the political climate for Democratic presidential prospects? The 2008 primary was divisive. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama camps fought bitterly. Obama won and to keep a good monitor on Hillary, he put her in his cabinet as Secretary of State. This was brilliant! She could not go off the reservation as this would seem disloyal and conniving. She was locked into place.
In retrospect, her tenure at the State Department has been a complete mess. The world is on fire. Our initiative to better relations with Russia has totally failed. In fact, you would have to go back to the Cold War to find worse times. She said she was going to reset Russia. She might as well have thrown a brick at it. The Middle East and Africa are in upheaval and we can’t seem to get a foot forward in solving the raging issues. Revolution, civil war, insurgency and chaos are running rampant in those regions and we don’t have a clue. This all falls into the lap of Hillary Clinton.
The saddest situation involves Libya. The dictator has gone but so has any semblance of peace and governance. We failed our embassy there by turning our back on its safety and we are now trying to cover it up. It is so similar to the security failures of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania during the Bill Clinton administration. Just like then, they identify a fall person to put the blame on. They insinuated it was Susan Rice during the Clinton administration and then, unbelievably, they threw her under the “bus” once again. It is Clinton 101. Hillary has failed and President Obama will call on his old friend and confidant John Kerry to clean up the mess. I believe he will and in 2016 he will rise exponentially above Hillary.
He will also play a role in environmental issues such as the Keystone Pipeline and the Kyoto Protocol. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is also toast. The State Department will take full control of these issues. Administrator Jackson or “Richard Windsor,” as she mysteriously calls herself in secret and illegal email account, has announced her resignation before the illegal emails are released via a court order. John Kerry will have a hand in cleaning this up also. In essence, he is going to be the “fix it guy.” By 2016 he will be regarded as a healer and strong leader. Good bye Hillary.