I am terrible at getting predictions on record. This means that I don’t have to eat crow when I’m wrong, which is most of the time. But it also means I don’t get to rub my genius in everyone’s faces when I’m
Let’s remedy that. First, let me clear out the backlog of expired predictions:
1. The Sopranos.
Last summer, with only a few episodes left in the final season of The Sopranos, some website I can’t recall ran a contest: What song would roll over the closing credits on the last episode? The Sopranos was of course known for its creative and esoteric musical selections, so the field was wide open for speculation. The early entrants made clever guesses, picking out forgotten treasures, callbacks to songs or artists used earlier in the series, etc. High-minded stuff. I thought about it, and said to myself, c’mon, David Chase isn’t going to end the series like that; he’ll switch it up. It’ll be something cheesy, something Everyman. Something like Journey. “More than a Feeling,” or maybe “Don’t Stop Believing.” But then I didn’t enter the contest!
So you’ll have to take my word on this one. Sigh.
2. The Super Bowl.
In January, while the 18-and-0 Patriots were being penciled in for an undefeated season — once they’d run through the formalities: you know, show up, put uniforms on, throw a few balls to Randy Moss, make Eli cry — I was saying that all outcomes were possible.
Don’t get me wrong, I thought the Patriots were going to win handily, but: all outcomes were possible. Except a Giants blowout. The Patriots could roll, they could squeak out a win, or the Giants could play solid and catch the Patriots on a bad day. I told anyone who would listen that Chuck Klosterman had written the only insightful article about the Pats dynasty.
Still, still! — I thought the Patriots would win. I don’t think any predictions for that game count, really. If someone says they called it for the Giants, then that means they foresaw Eli-in-the-grasp to Tyree’s helmet. That doesn’t happen, the Giants don’t win. And there’s no way anyone would have or could have predicted a play like that. No way.
3. The 2008 Presidential Race.
Here’s the lay of the land in the week before Super Tuesday. Before the polls opened on February 5, this was the story I was telling people (not verbatim):
McCain locks up the Republican nomination, probably quickly. Hillary wins over Obama eventually, but it will drag out a bit, and Clinton needs the Michigan/Florida delegates, the superdelegates, or dirty campaign ads to get over the hump. The prevailing impression is that Obama got screwed. Clinton, with all her baggage, goes on to lose to McCain, despite a commanding lead for the Dems in the Generic Democrat vs. Generic Republican polls.
After the election, Obama is feted, partly out of regret for not nominating him and partly for the class and grace he shows in the loss, and the Democrats give him a leadership role in the Senate. He becomes the public face for Congress as it fights with President McCain, and Obama becomes the runaway favorite for the 2012 nominee.
Free from the need to pander to the left during a Democratic primary, Obama is able to move to the center and capture more independent voters, libertarians, social-liberals/fiscal-conservatives, etc. (People like me.) McCain is not a terrible president; he gets the cleanup process started on the messes that the Bush administration created (or identified, if you prefer.) The next president won’t inherit so much and will have a freer hand. But McCain is old. Maybe he doesn’t even run for a second term.
Obama wins handily in ’12, ascends bodily to the highest office in the land, and governs at the head of a previously unimaginable coalition of hardworking civil servants, smart pro-market economists, young folks awakening to politics, and vision-thing business leaders. New age of peace and prosperity, yadda yadda yadda.
Well, that vision has been shot full of so many holes that I don’t know where to start. The whole thing was probably more wish fulfillment than sober analysis. I was right about McCain knocking off Romney, though.
UPDATE: Marc Andreessen still likes what he sees in Obama.