Hey, Democrats, I’ve got the perfect candidate to beat Mark Kirk in 2016. He’s got experience at the job, and he has the highest approval ratings of any politician in Illinois.
I’m talking about Barack Obama who, as you may remember, represented Illinois in the Senate from 2005 to 2008.
Obama will only be 55 years old when his term as president expires. That will make him the fourth-youngest ex-president, after U.S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt and Bill Clinton. Richard Nixon once said, “Once a person has been president, there is nothing else he could do.” But that’s because Nixon himself couldn’t do anything after resigning the office in disgrace.
There are precedents for ex-presidents re-entering politics. John Quincy Adams served in the House of Representatives. William Howard Taft was chief justice of the United States. Obama won’t be too old to restart a Senate career. Paul Simon was 55 when he was elected to the first of his two terms.
Obama’s going to need something to occupy his golden years, beyond writing his memoirs. (Besides, he already did that, when he was 30.) With the Carter Center and the Clinton Foundation, the ex-president field is pretty crowded. I’m sure he doesn’t want to paint pictures of himself in the bathtub
, like George W. Bush. Obama’s Senate career was cut short by his presidential campaign -- he really only served for two years before announcing for president -- so he’s got unfinished business in the Capitol.
A poll taken last December
found that Obama’s approval rating in Illinois was 57 percent approve/41 percent disapprove, compared to 34 percent approve/19 percent disapprove for Kirk. The same poll found that Michelle Obama would defeat Kirk, 51 percent to 40 percent. Illinoisans clearly prefer an Obama in that Senate seat, so why not go with the man who made the family name?