This past weekend, some friends and I were discussing the travails of President Obama in the face of the Syrian fiasco, the budget crisis, the debt ceiling issue, the Federal Reserve chair nomination, Obamacare, and all the other problems Obama has so unsuccessfully dealt with. Admittedly, the participants in the discussion were tilted to the right.
One member of the group indicated that Obama just might try to make a deal with Hillary Clinton to be appointed a Supreme Court justice in exchange for his active support of Hillary’s probable presidential bid in 2016.
Frankly, I was totally freaked out by this hypothesis, and try as I may, I could not dismiss this possibility because it would be typically Obama to attempt such a ruse.
While conducting some research on the history of presidents taking other government jobs after their tenure ended, I came across a piece on PolicyMic written by Michael McCutcheon about 10 months ago. The thrust of the article was that President Obama should nominate himself for a Supreme Court seat shortly before his term ended. Of course, he would have to resign as president, making Joe Biden president (a horrifying prospect). This would only be possible if a seat were to become vacant resulting from one of the justices resigning or passing away.
Michael indicated in his essay that the president’s job approval rating was high. He would get strong support from Democrats in Congress, he is lauded as a great orator and leader, and he understands policy and politics. Unfortunately, many who would have supported this outrageous plan nearly a year ago may not have the same feelings now. So, I doubt this crazy plan would ever gain any traction.
However, supporters of Obama would likely say that his appointment to the court would be yet another remarkable feat by this man. He would be the first person to be president, senator, and Supreme Court justice. (President William Howard Taft became the chief justice of the Supreme Court after his presidency ended.) The president was a constitutional law professor, so he has an academic background that would be applicable to the new position. And, you would think that Obama’s tenure as president would give him unique insights into the business of the court.
Personally, I think these qualifications are far short of what Obama would need to be appointed a justice. The most important assessment should and would be the president’s performance as chief executive of the United States. In this regard, there is no way that a man with Obama's record is going to be rewarded with a lifetime appointment to the court.
But you never know in politics. The Clintons want the presidency, and they would probably do almost anything to ensure it happens. Having Obama enthusiastically support Hillary would certainly be very helpful.
I can just imagine the confirmation process and what a circus it would be. I doubt conservatives would be kind to the president so he would likely take a beating. Yet, it would be very entertaining to see Obama in the hot seat trying to justify his pitiful tenure in the Oval Office.
Of course, if it's money Obama is after, all bets are off. Barack Obama, I am sure, intends to use his presidential experience to become a rich man, and even become part of the infamous 1%. Joining the Supreme Court for life would not be helpful if riches are what he covets.