Opinion: Columnists

Here's an Obama exit strategy everybody can love

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Noemie Emery,Columnists,Barack Obama,Democratic Party,Joe Biden,2014 Elections,Analysis,Vladimir Putin

Sometime around two-thirds through his fifth year in office, President Obama stopped having fun. It was fun running for president, it was fun winning, it was fun winning again.

But winning again left him with nothing to live for except campaigning for Democrats in 2014. Nothing he did seemed to work as intended: Detroit was dead, and al Qaeda was thriving.

Obamacare, called a “train wreck” by one of its architects while falling apart, has been a wrecking-ball for the economy, driving millions into part-time work and/or unemployment because of its mandates.

And foreign relations? Don’t ask. “One of the most stunning and inexplicable displays of presidential incompetence that I’ve ever witnessed,” said Joe Klein of Obama’s Syrian venture.

“He has damaged his presidency and weakened his nation’s standing ... There have been too many “rhetorical exercises,” too many loose pronouncements of American intent without having game-planned the consequences ... he has done himself, and the nation, great and unnecessary harm,” Klein said.

When Obama claimed it wasn’t he who had drawn the “red line,” people laughed at him. George Stephanopolous has called 2013 Obama’s “lost year.” It’s no fun to hear all of this after four or more years of sheer adulation. And these, of course, are his friends.

Among his opponents, and terrified centrists, panic is mixed in with sheer desperation as they contemplate not merely the current disasters, but three or more years of the same.

“Allowing this week to become the status quo is unthinkable,” said the Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Henninger, noting that while Jimmy Carter’s hostage crisis began at the end of his third year in office and the 1980 campaign started immediately thereafter, we have to wait three more years for salvation.

“The belief by some that we can ride this out till a Reagan-like rescue,” Henninger tells us, “is wrong.” It’s too late to change to a parliamentary system, and coups are illegal, and, with a black president, would be suicidal.

Is there anything here that can fix the establishment’s panic, the conservatives’ fears, and Obama’s need to have fun again, while respecting constitutional norms and the pressures of public opinion?

Yes, as it happens, there is. Think Frank Underwood, the conniving whip in House of Cards who derails a nominee who replaced him, ousts a member of leadership, and disposes of a congressman who outlived his purpose by gassing him in his car.

Similarly, Obama forces out his vice president, perhaps by naming him ambassador to a fictional country that Biden will spend three years trying to locate.

He names Colin Powell to fill Biden’s former office. And then, he resigns. In his farewell address, Obama says that he’s leaving to pursue “new career avenues,” that the job was “way harder” than he’d been led to expect while campaigning, and that, even with help from the woman he loves, he finds it impossible.

Powell names Condi Rice vice-president, further defusing the charges of racism (except to Chris Matthews, who hears a dog whistle), and giving the country it’s first female vice president.

This first all-black ticket of Secretaries-of-State-to-Republican-presidents unites the whole nation, re-assures the armed forces, and delights all of our allies, who sense the adults are back in charge.

Putin puts on his shirt and goes to his room until further notice. Obama hits Hawaii to play non-stop golf. A sports channel gives him a weekly program and lets him co-anchor the Super Bowl and March Madness.

Michell? She makes a small fortune – ala Jane Fonda - teaching women how to have fabulous arms.

Noemie Emery, a Washington Examiner columnist, is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and author of "Great Expectations: The Troubled Lives of Political Families."
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