(Politico) — Progressive disgruntlement with elements of President Obama’s governance, and with his principled fondness for compromise, has not at any point seemed on the verge of a serious primary challenge, and the most serious potential challengers — Howard Dean and Russ Feingold — have ruled it out.
But a New York reader sends over the stirrings of that disillusion in one of America’s true liberal heartlands, Manhattan’s Upper West side, where Obama and Biden won 84% of the vote in 2008. A longtime local Democratic activist, Bob Ginsberg, has sent around a mailing to about 1,800 New York Democratic leaders and activists, calling for a progressive challenge to President Obama.
Obama, Ginsberg writes, is destined for David Weprin-style defeat because of “his wimpiness; his unwillingness to fight for anything; and his addiction to compromising.”
“The soution is to find a credible progressive Democrat to run for President in a primary against President Obama. The best lesson comes from 1980 when another Democratic “middle of the road, compromising” unpopular president was planning to run for re-election,” writes Ginsberg, who represented the neighborhood in the state Democratic committee for 25 years, and notes that a local liberal reform Democrat, Fred Ohrenstein, was Kennedy’s campaign chairman.
“If only Kennedy had won, the country would have been spared 8 years of Ronald Reagan. Hopefully we have learned our lesson — and we will start immediately looking for a candidate to run against President Obama in the primaries and then to continue and run a strong campaign against whomever wins the Republican nomination,” he writes, calling it “the obligation of progressive reform Democrats.”