I told you so.

Remember October 3rd? When the President of these United States had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad debate performance? And progressives and liberals and assorted Democrats were all “WE’RE DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!!1!eleven!!”

Yeah, that.

So, I knew Obama wouldn’t let that happen again. And I knew that Biden would help out. You might not believe me that I knew it, but I actually have proof that I knew it, to wit:

I also knew (even as everyone was wailing that RickPerry-NewtGingrich-RickSantorum-MicheleBachman-HermanCain is going to be the nominee!!) that the GOP would nominate Romney. (I have proof of that, too, but digging up a tweet that old would be a sign of very ill-organized priorities, I think).

I say this because I’m going to make another prediction, and I would like my bona fides in full view, you see.

So first, let me briefly explain why/how “I knew” in these other cases.

  1. Romney: Every other Republican nominee (other than Huntsman, who dropped out) was some version of unhinged. Political parties may occasionally enjoy/exploit “unhinged” in the lead-up to an election, but they (and in particular, the people who spend the money) do not like unhinged as the game gets real. Moreover, while the record shows that many within the party genuinely loathe Romney, I think that Republican big wigs have known for some time that the chances of them taking the White House this year are a little dicey, in no small part because things got a little out of hand with the Tea Party (occasionally, powerful people forget that the unhinged peons they’re exploiting are autonomous beings). So, they throw the 2012 election Mitt’s way — if he wins, huzzah! If he loses, he’s out of their hair.
  2. Biden: Joe Biden is not, contrary to urban myth, some crazy old Uncle who smiles a lot and says wacky things. He’s actually a prodigiously skilled and deeply experienced politician who owns the speaker’s podium and knows how to engage in debate in a way that drives a knife through the ribs while coming across as almost impossibly likable (who occasionally says wacky things). Paul Ryan, on the other hand, is a young, inexperienced politician who came to national prominence at a time when just saying something with real conviction was considered making an argument. Ryan is very good at stating his positions with real conviction and coming across as entirely sincere when he does it — but defending those positions against the skills of a (I believe) far more gifted man who just happens to have been getting legislation passed in the US Senate for decades? Yeah. No.
  3. Obama: Barack Obama, while neither a magic unicorn nor a perfect man, is exceptionally good at what he does (witness the fact that he got a black man elected President). When Obama makes mistakes, particularly mistakes that are entirely his fault, dude gets back up. He gets back up and brings all of his exceptional-ness to bear on the mistake, and he is righteous and furious and wholly dedicated. I knew he would shake off the unforced error, home his (I believe) genius on the facts before him, read Romney like a paperback novel, and mop the ding-dang floor. Which is precisely what he did at Hofstra — occasionally just by letting Romney be Romney (“please proceed, Governor.” Heh).

So what am I predicting this time? Let me tell you.

The next debate will not be the giddy rush that the Hofstra debate was. Romney had gotten a little cocky (I think that’s his secret, Captain — he’s always cocky) but now, and I guarantee you this: He is furious.

He was beat and beat good, and it doesn’t matter how right wing pundits are spinning it — he knows he was beat. And I believe that Romney believes pretty strongly that no one deserves to beat him. At anything. (He’s got a wee sense of entitlement, is what I’m saying here). So he is going to prepare much better, and fire whoever gave him that bad Libya talking point, and be as laser-focused as he can — which, as James Fallows points out, doesn’t always work out, but he’s sure as hell going to do his best. And he’s no slouch.

This then leads to my next prediction:

I actually remain convinced that Obama will win re-election (and not just because the prospect of a Romney presidency makes me want to shatter into tiny pieces), but I am equally convinced that it will be way, way closer than it has any right to be, for a whole host of reasons (starting with low voter turn-out, moving through party loyalty, on to whiny disappointed liberals, and not failing to stop at Racism Station).

And if he is re-elected narrowly, you can bet the farm that the down ticket won’t fare all that well.

Which means it’s on us!

I was all set to volunteer with the campaign last week when I got sick and couldn’t go, but I’m all right now, and I’mma hit the streets. Pleasepleaseplease: If you want to see this President re-elected (and while I clearly have a good record as a prognosticator, I have been known to be wrong on occasion!) and you want to see him greeted by a US Congress that will actually work with him, and not work to ruin him, do what you can.

Do an hour of phonebanking; knock on doors with your local Democrats; go to a swing state with your local Democrats; send a small check; send a large check; go out with the campaign for a few hours on election day; remind everyone you know of the incalculable importance of actually voting — and if you need help with that latter, just watch the Hank Green video after the jump (and in case you doubt my endorsement of said video, bear in mind that the Obama campaign posted it on their very own tumblr).

Trust me on this! I have a good track record. Get Out The Vote!



  1. zenobiajo

     /  October 17, 2012

    From your lips to G*d’s ears 🙂

  2. Neocortex

     /  October 17, 2012

    I also knew (even as everyone was wailing that RickPerry-NewtGingrich-RickSantorum-MicheleBachman-HermanCain is going to be the nominee!!) that the GOP would nominate Romney.

    See, the reason that I don’t pull this off is that my usual social circles is full of complacent liberal-bubble liberals who tend to grossly underestimate how ridiculous you can be while still being nominated by a major party or elected to office in this state/country. For example, I was one of the only people in my usual social circles who called Scott Brown over Martha Coakley, because everybody else was convinced that this state was way too liberal to elect a Republican to Ted Kennedy’s old seat (uh, we elected Romney as governor?). So while everyone else was going around saying “Oh, [candidate who is not Romney] is way too out there to have a chance” I was saying “I’ve lived in Newt Gingrich’s district, and you guys’ estimate of what people who are not you are willing to vote for is miscalculated”. As much as I don’t like Romney, I was pretty glad that in the end my fears didn’t pan out and he was nominated rather than Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum. But I still think there’s something to be said for a little bit of paranoia about what other people are willing to support.

    • Neocortex

       /  October 17, 2012

      I…crap, the only part of that that was supposed to be italicized was the quote from you.

    • Healthy paranoia is a good thing, but do bear in mind that I wasn’t necessarily talking about voters…(which, you know, paranoia might be a good thing here, too).

      I was talking about “The Party,” as in the elites and the people with money. At the primary level in particular, the fact that certain folks are getting a lot of support from the right people (publicly, this takes the form of pundits and talking heads and the like; privately, it’s money and the kinds of conversations I presume were held with Huntsman) tends to shape the race pretty powerfully, especially when the field is as broad as the GOP field was for a good long while.

      And local politics (Brown vs. Coakley) is a whole ‘nother thing, I think. The Presidency is just its own very separate ball of wax.

  3. Please insert the EVERYBODY CHILL lolz pic here.

  4. I sincerely trust, Emily, that liberal/Democrat readers of your blog around the whole country listen to your analysis (which is spot on) and get out ON THE STREETS to work the vote. There are so many ways to do this – get on the phones, stick up a yard sigtn, simply tell your neighbours “I’ve made my mind up, have you? Well this is why I think Obama deserves another four years.”, wear a pin or a pro-Obama t-shirt like this one http://www.cafepress.com/yolly.637316967, knock on doors with leaflets, deliver leaflets, (wo)man stands and stalls, and if you cant do any of that, just donate ten bucks before the end of today.

    You are right, Emily, the election IS close. I do think Romney may implode on Monday. I also think he may not. What is certain is that he is undoubtedly the worst type of patrician, born-to-rule, look down your nose at the world arsehole (I nearly used the C word) that there has been for some time. Even George Bush had some folksy charm and believed in what he was saying, even if he was too damn stupid to know he was being used. Romney is a nasty, nasty man.

    It’s not enough to sit behind your keyboards and fulminate. Even if you have NEVER done anything practically political before, NOW is the hour. GET ONTO THE STREETS.

  5. Holy cow, I have Barack and Michelle Obama in my Inbox nearly every day, along with Bill Clinton and Joe Biden, and I’m donating money just about every other day–and now YOU come along…