What Color Is Obama's Parachute?
Scott Walker's win means that Barack Obama's White House tenure may well be coming to an end. What will the ex-president do once he can no longer blow smoke in the federal facility at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?
If Obama goes quietly after losing in November, he can pursue a number of lucrative careers and enjoy paying taxes according to his beloved Buffett Rule.
If, on the other hand, he indicates displeasure with the outcome by encouraging riots and similar disturbances, or does nothing to prevent or mitigate them, all bets are off.
Worst of all, should Obama precipitate a constitutional crisis by refusing to accept defeat and imposing martial law, he can expect a stern rebuke from all branches of government regardless of party affiliation, and even arrest and indictment. Extradition to the country he once claimed as his birthplace -- you know the one -- is also possible.
The second and third scenarios are highly unlikely, though I'm sure there are folks out there who worry about such eventualities. I for one refuse to believe that Obama would want to go down in history as the first president to behave as if the United States were some sort of banana republic. The left is indeed desperate to see Obama re-elected, but not to the point of political suicide.
Assuming scenario one, what lies ahead?
The Presidential Library Project. Every president since FDR has gone on to create a repository of official and unofficial documents to be made available to scholars and the general public. For reasons I discussed in an earlier American Thinker article, Obama is unlikely to make this a high priority. There are far too many embarrassing questions to answer. With presidential clout and legal protections gone, it will be much more difficult to keep prying eyes away from information Obama had previously been able to keep secret. He will be hounded not just by critics the MSM has dubbed "birthers," but also by historians seeking the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about his presidency. I look for Obama to stall long enough to make sure that inconvenient documents are, ahem, misplaced.
Have Teleprompter, Will Travel. Bill Clinton reportedly has earned millions in speaking fees since leaving office. It's not hard to see why. The man can spin a yarn with the best of them, and his down-to-earth, folksy manner appeals to wide audiences. His 25 years of political experiences at many levels of government entitle him to hold forth on foreign and domestic policy issues. Though Obama is also personable, he lacks Clinton's skill at extemporizing and would not have an especially interesting or original story to tell, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding. As a one-term president who left behind massive debt and an economy in shambles, he would have little to brag about. An Obama speech blaming George Bush and congressional Republicans for his failures would be met with incredulity and even laughter. He had a free hand the first two years in office and control of the Senate the other two. Where's the beef?
Nah, I Don't Need an Agent. Publishing being a Catch-22 sort of business, authors with an established track record have a much easier time getting into print. Here Obama definitely has a leg up, with The Audacity of Hope, Dreams from My Father, and Change We Can Believe In already under his belt. He must have written all of them; otherwise, his name wouldn't be on the covers. Well, never mind who will write his memoirs. Here are some possible chapters:
- How I Smoked Dope, Associated with Terrorists, and Listened Dutifully to a Lunatic Preacher Cursing America but Got Elected President Anyway.
- How I Sent In the A-Team to Bump Off a Useless Old Geezer in Pakistan while I Watched on TV With My Buddies Munching Popcorn.
- How I Doubled the Number of Green Jobs in America Just by Including Bus Drivers, Bicycle-Shop Clerks, and Garbage Collectors in Official Statistics.
- How I Invented a Foreign Policy Concept That Put Me in a Leadership Position even though I Sat on My Hands at the Back of the Line.
- How I Achieved the Impossible: Spending Money like a Drunken Sailor to No Good End and Running Up the National Debt to Unprecedented Levels.
- How I Attempted to Build a Health Care System in America Based on the Highly Successful, Efficient, and Much-Admired Soviet Model.
- How I Became Part Owner of the "Big Three" Automakers, but the Ingrates Didn't Even Have the Decency to Take Me Golfing at Augusta National.
- How I Sought to Protect the Reproductive Rights of American Women by Picking a Fight over Contraceptives with the Catholic Church.
- How I Proved that MSM Lackeys Can Be Relied Upon to Cover for Me and Serve as an Extension of the White House Press Office.
With thrilling chapters like these, Obama's previous publishers Vintage and Crown are sure to offer him seven-figure contracts -- and then again, maybe not.
My Kingdom Is an Endowed Chair. The number of unelected "czars" Obama has appointed during his term should be sufficient proof that he considers our Constitution a convenient vehicle for conducting policy when it suits him, and a nuisance when it doesn't. This fact, however, should not be an obstacle to an appointment at a major law school after the presidency to teach...constitutional law. After all, contempt for basic texts is a common attitude in academic departments outside STEM -- science, technology, engineering, and mathematics -- where the professorate strive to, ahem, influence minds rather than impart knowledge. But Obama will have to be careful to avoid the, ahem, Bubba Syndrome -- i.e., coeds lining up outside his office for after-hours tutoring. The missus has a fiery temper and a less forgiving nature than Hillary Clinton.
Come On, Gimme a Second Chance. Defeated in 1888 after one term in office by Civil War general Benjamin Harrison, Grover Cleveland lived to fight another day, returning to the White House in 1893, just as his wife Frances had predicted. Assuming Obama wants his job back, whether he can pull off in 2016 what Cleveland did in 1892 will depend on factors not easily predictable. A key indicator will surely be whether the GOP gains control of both houses of Congress this fall, a disappointing outcome that the Democratic Party will blame on Obama, if not openly, likely resisting the idea of running him again in '16.
Hey, Chris, How's Life? Senator Dodd left politics in disgrace, but that didn't stop Hollywood from hiring him as CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, replacing former Congressman and Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman. Though Dodd denied that he would ever work as a lobbyist, his hiring was announced on March 1, 2011, with a salary estimated at $1.5 million per year. Whether Dodd would find a slot for his old Senate pal is an open question. It's highly doubtful, however, that a former president would want to be a subordinate to a former subordinate. No, Obama would want Tinseltown to hire him as nothing less than studio head and give him a free hand to rush into production a trilogy based on his three books, like, well, The Lord of the Rings. There are enough Hollywood hacks to write the scripts; finding an actor to play the lead should also be no problem. If the movies are a hit, maybe in 2017 Obama can resume blowing smoke in the federal facility at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue...God forbid.