Former "CBS Evening News" anchor Dan Rather is predicting that if the Bush tax cuts are extended for two years (as now appears likely) President Obama will face a tough primary challenge from the left.
Appearing on MSNBC's "Jansing & Company," Rather said:
"This is a political nightmare for Barack Obama as president. The more-left portion of his party hates this with a passion. And politically, within his own party, if this goes through, Barack Obama will be in a position to have his shirttail on fire, his back to the wall, and the bill collector at the door. Which is metaphorically a way of saying he's almost guaranteed -- if this goes through -- to have a serious challenge in a Democratic primary for president in 2012."
Rather went on to add that "the perception of [Obama] is that he won't fight for anything." He also noted: "Many of the heavy contributors to the Democratic Party are beyond shock about this happening, and are saying to themselves, 'This guy . . . has about four to six months to turn the perception of him and the party around or we've got to start thinking about somebody else in 2012.' "
Obviously, a serious primary challenge could greatly hurt Obama's chances of being re-elected.
Comparisons to Ted Kennedy's primary campaign against Jimmy Carter (which many believe fatally wounded Carter politically) would likely become the dominant media narrative. This is something any incumbent president -- especially one already being compared to Carter -- should avoid like the plague.
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