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Tue Apr 24, 2012, 02:30 PM

Salon.com: A Guide to The Most Laughable 2012 Election Predictions - So Far [View all]

http://www.salon.com/2012/04/24/worst_primary_whiffs/?source=newsletter

TUESDAY, APR 24, 2012 07:45 AM EDT
Worst primary whiffs
A guide to the most laughable 2012 predictions -- so far


BY JIM NEWELL

The dirty little secret about political punditry, that is not actually a secret to anyone who watches and reads it, is that it’s all lies. It requires very little knowledge or skill, and there are no consequences for being wrong. For a major newspaper to fire one of its columnists for getting something wrong would bring down the whole pundit industry, as that logic would necessitate the firing of them all. Every election pundit is wrong about everything, nearly all the time, and there’s usually a direct correlation between a pundit’s frequency of wrongness and his or her status — see the Washington Post’s stable of columnists for a prime example. The entire punditocracy is a sham, but thank you for reading anyway.

Top-Tier Tim Pawlenty Is a Very Serious Candidate Who Will Go Far

“I think we know with reasonable certainty that standing up there on the West front of the Capitol on Jan. 20, 2013, will be one of three people,” intoned George Will, another longtime, defiantly not-retired Washington Post columnist, in May 2011. Here were the Three People, delivered with assured, flimsy gravitas: “Obama, Pawlenty and Daniels. I think that’s it.” Well, Mitch Daniels didn’t run. And the victor may yet be President Obama, so this prediction still isn’t technically wrong. But Tim Pawlenty? Only a few of you readers will remember that name, but indeed, the Great Political Promise of Tim Pawlenty was once a whole “thing.”

- snip -

A Brief Interlude From Bill Kristol

Bill Kristol, the publisher of the neoconservative Weekly Standard, is the most notoriously wrong-all-the-time political commentator in America. The vocal advocate behind such hits as “the Iraq war will go swimmingly” and “Sarah Palin would be a great vice presidential candidate” typically spent most of this campaign season incorrectly speculating, or “reporting,” on which candidates would join the race. In a way, this made Kristol useful. We knew, for example, that a Rudy Giuliani for President 2012 campaign — however unlikely that ever was — would definitely never materialize after Bill Kristol wrote this on June 8, 2011: “I’m told by two reliable sources that Rudy Giuliani intends to run for the GOP nomination for president in 2012. He may throw his hat in the ring soon.”

- snip -

How could McKinnon say that with a straight face? The same way, we suppose, that he wrote columns titled “Sanford for President” and “Sanford Should Resign” on back-to-back days in 2009.

- snip -

There Is Nothing You Can Do to Stop Rick Perry

You remember the hyperbole. Rick Perry. Governor for 11 Years. Of a large state. Winner of 10 straight elections. Loves Jesus like no other. A virtuoso in the field of retail politics. Kills coyotes with his many guns. A true Southerner. Fucking hates abortion. Will destroy anyone in his way. Indeed, another great Résumé Candidate. And within 10 minutes of Perry’s late entry into the race, the pundit consensus was essentially that all primaries and caucuses should be canceled, Mitt Romney should jump off a cliff, and Rick Perry should be handed the nomination before he leaves the grounds of the Iowa State Fair.

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