When your hometown newspaper urges you to not run for re-election, it is a pretty hard slap in the face. Is President Obama even losing "favorite son" status in Chicago? Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman calls for the President to step aside in favor of of Hillary Clinton:
Besides avoiding this indignity, Obama might do his party a big favor. In hard times, voters have a powerful urge to punish incumbents. He could slake this thirst by stepping aside and taking the blame. Then someone less reviled could replace him at the top of the ticket.
The ideal candidate would be a figure of stature and ability who can't be blamed for the economy. That person should not be a member of Congress, since it has an even lower approval rating than the president's.
It would also help to be conspicuously associated with prosperity. Given Obama's reputation for being too quick to compromise, a reputation for toughness would be an asset.
As it happens, there is someone at hand who fits this description: Hillary Clinton. Her husband presided over a boom, she's been busy deposing dictators instead of destroying jobs, and she's never been accused of being a pushover.
It won't happen, of course. Obama is too much of a narcissist to do something selfless for his Party or the nation.