Talk about hubris. Way back in June, I decided to take a chance on what sportswriters typically do and predict the season's champion before the games begin.
On the RobertEmmet blog in the first week of June I wrote: Bottom line: President Obama. Big. With 382 electoral votes.
So here, Morgan and Rob, is what I forecast way back then. You can add it to the Thomas Jefferson St. election picks.
On the bright side, I gave Bambi almost all the industrial Midwest, two of the important, contested Rocky Mountain States, and Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, and Florida.
I also—big mea culpa here—predicted that he would carry Texas.
I still think there is an outside chance that Texas could play the role that Virginia did in 2004—with early exit polls showing Obama closer than expected. But, sadly, I think it is going to take a little more remove before my beloved Texans shed their slavish love of all things Bush and start voting like real Americans again.
(Just kidding, Tejans. I know you are the real America. And we are all better off for it.)
If Texas should go Democratic on Tuesday, well, think of the glory if I had predicted that the Tampa Bay Rays would be in the World Series this year, or the Colorado Rockies last year.
I'll be legendary.
But now it looks like a wild swing, influenced by the state's changing demographics (it has joined California as a titanic minority-majority state), my respect for the Obama ground game, and the anticipated high minority turnout.
Nationally, the key assumption in my landslide prediction came from running a standard series of suburban chores. I had stopped at the grocery store ($4 a gallon milk), filled the tank of my 10-year-old Mustang ($50), parked at a Metro station and took the train downtown ($10), got the brakes repaired on our other car ($400) and made this month's payment on my home equity loan for the kids' college tuition ($800).
This led to this conclusion: This is going to be a big Democratic year. Regardless of the color of Obama's skin, or gays getting married in San Francisco . The traditional Democratic states are going to slip easy and early into the Obama column, allowing him to play offense most of the fall.
My second key assumption was that during the general election campaign Obama would perform capably and calmly and we would see " the ol' post-partisan Obama, talking about personal responsibility and finding Jesus and the audacity of hope and there being no Red America, no Blue America, just the United States of America. "
As we go into the final weekend, the GOP is still trying to rattle Obama, and influence undecided voters, with wild tales about his socialist-terrorist connections. And he's still sticking to his script. It has been a masterful display of political discipline.
The Democrats took one good bit of advice that I offered.
" It's time for the liberal activists of the Democratic Party to celebrate by keeping their mouths shut for the next five months, while they keep sending $50 and $100 donations over the Internet, and allow Barack to dance back to the middle. "
Looking ahead, should Obama get elected, that advice holds. No liberal should assume that "change" means "Left." The last thing we need is to muddy the march toward peace and prosperity with silly feel-good social issues.
And, finally—way before the emergence of Sarah Palin—I suggested that, I think McCain, love him as I do, has the tougher role to play. He must keep reassuring independents (and contrarian Democrats like me) who love him because he is a maverick, that he won't roll over for the GOP wingnuts, whom he has to turn out in big numbers, and who are seeking orthodoxy, not independence.
But, I predicted, I think in the end he will lean toward the wingnuts, to secure the base and the donors, and that will make him look old and mean and status quo and Bush Three. Which is not where he wants to be.
Nailed that one.