Reviewing my Presidential Predictions, or I Like My Eggs Sunny-Side Up

Today is the official end of the beginning of the primary season, as the last “early” state, Florida, votes. One way or another, the Republican race will be transformed in a fundamental way, either with Rudy Giuliani emerging as a viable candidate in a three-way race with John McCain and Mitt Romney heading into Super-Tuesday, or, as seems increasingly likely, Giuliani fading fast after a poor showing, and the race becoming a two-way between McCain and Romney.
However, if you go to the tape, and review the Presidential predictions I made in my last appeared on On the Record with Jim Hummel (WLNE-TV, ABC 6), you may decide to disregard anything I have to say about Presidential politics anyway.
1. On the Republican side, my big predictions were 1) John McCain was dead (oops) and 2) we were waiting to see how organized the Fred Thompson campaign was, to determine how it would impact the race.
Since then, we’ve learned that McCain wasn’t dead and Thompson wasn’t organized enough to impact the race at all. I missed Mike Huckabee completely. Even if McCain doesn’t win the nomination, there’s really no way to spin this as me having coming anywhere close.
My error was buying into the idea that the compressed primary schedule meant that early state momentum wouldn’t matter as much as it has in the past, but whatever the primary schedule is, to win a national campaign, a candidate must be able to effectively campaign across the nation. If a candidate can’t make him or herself competitive in at least one early state (when there’s a diverse mix of early states voting), it means that there’s a good chance that he or she may not be able to connect with voters anywhere. Future prognosticators, learn from my experience, go forth and be wise.
2. On the Democratic side, I predicted that Hillary Clinton would probably win the nomination, barring a perfect Barack Obama campaign combined with a Clinton gaffe.
Though the Democrats appear neck and neck now, this prediction was closer to the mark. I don’t know if I’d call Obama’s campaign “perfect”, but it’s certainly been solid, while the Clinton campaign’s decision to turn former President Clinton lose as a raging pit-bull certainly looks to have become a serious and unnecessary negative, reminding everyone (including some Dems who would never admit it publicly) what they didn’t like about the Clinton years and giving establishment Dems a respectable reason for breaking ranks with the Clinton machine.
And now on to Super-Tuesday, for which I will be offering no predictions (just incredibly insightful analysis)…

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Anthony
Anthony
13 years ago

Don’t feel too bad, anyone who says that they could predict this year’s GOP race is lying.
McCain went broke, had high negatives with the GOP to start, yet he is now the GOP front-runner.
Romney embarked on an early state strategy, lost both Iowa AND his neighboring state of NH, yet is still alive despite executing a flawed strategy.
Giuliani had stratospheric numbers, and has followed his “Florida First” strategy perfectly, yet saw his numbers collapse, may finish third in Florida and may have a problem winning New York state.
Another Arkansas governor runs for president. His only national notoriety is that he once lost alot of weight. Still, he’s able to go to Iowa, a northern state, and pull off a win.
The charismatic conservative actor, Fred Thompson, fails to be charismatic on the campaign trail. Although he once provided advice to a pro-abortion group, he still gets the endorsement of the largest pro-life gropu in the country.
Ron Paul shows greater prowess at raising money than many mainstream Republicans and still has a voice going into Super Tuesday.
Anyone who maintains that they predicted this year’s GOP race is probably trying to sell the Brooklyn Bridge, too.
At least it’s fun!

Captain Vet Payne
Captain Vet Payne
13 years ago

I am and have been McCain’s greatest Rhode Island supporter (politically and financially) in Rhode Island since he first ran for President in ’99. It is my personal and political prediction (as a member of McCain’s national leadership team) that McCain will not only be the GOP Presidential candidate, but will win the Presidential race. Captain Vet Payne/Warwick Neck

Captain Vet Payne
Captain Vet Payne
13 years ago

I am and have been McCain’s greatest Rhode Island supporter (politically and financially) in Rhode Island since he first ran for President in ’99. It is my personal and political prediction (as a member of McCain’s national leadership team) that McCain will not only be the GOP Presidential candidate, but will win the Presidential race. Captain Vet Payne/Warwick Neck

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
13 years ago

>>I am and have been McCain’s greatest Rhode Island supporter (politically and financially) in Rhode Island since he first ran for President in ’99. It is my personal and political prediction (as a member of McCain’s national leadership team) that McCain will not only be the GOP Presidential candidate, but will win the Presidential race. Captain Vet Payne/Warwick Neck
Glad you like him.
But I’m a conservative Republican, and if he’s the nominee I’ll sit out the race rather than vote for Juan McAmnesty-Kennedy-Feingold “Gang of 14.”
If we’re destined to have amnesty, “moderate” judges, free speech restrictions and gun control, then let it be inflicted under the banner of the Democratic Party, not the Republican Party.

Greg
Greg
13 years ago

“If we’re destined to have amnesty, “moderate” judges, free speech restrictions and gun control, then let it be inflicted under the banner of the Democratic Party, not the Republican Party.”
In a race between Obama and McCain, I’ll vote Obama.

Scott Bill Hirst
Scott Bill Hirst
13 years ago

Hi!
I am running as a Huckabee delegate candidate in the 2ND District of Rhode Island. McCain is my second choice.
Vet Payne, RI House Minority Leader Bob Watson, and Caswell Cooke,Jr., Westerly Town Council member, have long been McCain boosters and all ran as McCain delegate candidates in 2000.Watson and Cooke are running again this year for delegate.They are NOT new to the McCain cause.That year I ran for George W. Bush.
BTW the lottery for Presidential Candidate and Delegate Placement will be held this Friday,February 1ST, at 5:00 PM at the Rhode Island State House in Providence in the Governor’s State Room.
Regards,
Scott

Greg
Greg
13 years ago

Bob Watson? Now THERE’S a Principled Conservative.
/sarcasm

Will
13 years ago

I can vouch for Vet’s strong and consistent support for McCain.
I think it will be a very close race tonight between Romney and McCain (stating the obvious).
Since it is a “closed” primary (Republicans only) — and the economy has become the top concern of many — I think that should bode well for Romney. However, there are a lot of elderly and military vets in Florida, so that’s good for McCain.
This is essentially a “must win” for McCain, since he’s almost broke. It’s a “would really like to win” for Romney to keep some momentum going into next Tuesday. If Romney wins, it’s a big deal. Giuliani, if he doesn’t at least finish a strong third is toast.
Tonight’s race isn’t really about the delegates, it’s more about momentum.
PS I want to remind everyone that the Republicans will be debating at the Reagan Library tomorrow night in CA.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
13 years ago

>>PS I want to remind everyone that the Republicans will be debating at the Reagan Library tomorrow night in CA.
Will McCain be teleconferencing from St. Louis, since at best he’s only one-half Republican?

Caswell
13 years ago

Well, McCain has it wrapped up a far as the nomination goes. I am so happy to see he is coming to RI tomorrow and I hope everyone on this blog can come. I think he will unite our party. He has a conservative record and of course there will always be issues to disagree with him on. But he speaks from the heart and means what he says. He will make a great President!

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