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!!”
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:
— Emily L. Hauser (@emilylhauser) October 11, 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. (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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!