We’ll come back and revisit these predictions six months from now…
The Davis recall effort will fail. Oh, Davis will be removed, alright. The Republican turnout will be too high (and Davis’ approval ratings too low) for him to remain. But if Davis’ poll ratings are still dismal by the filing deadline, the Democrats will put a popular Democrat on the replacement ballot as an alternative.
It’s the second half of that ballot that will be the Republicans’ undoing. They will be fractious as ever, and, in refusing to unite behind a single candidate, they’ll fumble away any chance at electoral redemption. Sure, it’s possible that the Dems won’t run a candidate, they’re not that stupid.
Condi Rice stays. The blogosphere is buzzing now that she’s in the crosshairs of the media. But not to worry, the Republicans need her too much to cut her loose. Hell, they already lost J.C. Watts, so Condi and Colin are all they’ve got left.
Yeah, they’ve got big plans for Condi. Look for her to run for California governor after the Republicans lose the recall effort.
And while we’re at it…
George Tenet stays. Because he’s more dangerous cut loose from the administration than working for it. Simple as that.
Howard Dean’s goes down. Look for him to be attacked, ferociously, during the September-October period. And the perpetrator will be none other than John Kerry.
This is not to say Dean won’t keep raking in money or stay competitive in the polls. That said, the honeymoon will be over. Dean will be confronted with questions about whether he performed abortions, whether there’s more to the Vermont miracle than meets the eye, and whether he’s just too mean and unpresidential to be president.
Dean will never be able to transition his demeanor from that of a brusque, stubborn gadfly to a thoughtful, presidential candidate. He will never outgrow concerns about his electability, but rather, he’ll give them more credence, and his big mouth will continue to get him into trouble. And just as Dean’s perpetual anger starts to get old, he will attempt to lure more moderates into the fold by playing up his centrist credentials, causing the ultra-left to cast an eye toward Ralph Nader.
The uranium flap blows over. It’s already getting old, Bob Graham’s comments notwithstanding. Problem is, the Democrats needed to sustain that story by systematically pointing out other embellishments, such as the claim that Iraq’s WMD could be ready within 45 minutes, or that the aluminum tubes were for producing nukes, or that we had “found the weapons of mass destruction” when troops found two trucks that turned out to be anything but. Or, to seize a ripening story, the contention that the Saudis are allies in the war on terror rather than enablers of terrorism.
The Republicans were great at painting every Gore misstatement as part of a broader character flaw. The Democrats just aren’t as good.
Several Democratic presidential candidates drop out…but nobody important will leave before the first votes are cast. Look for Moseley-Braun to bite the dust early. Then Bob Graham will end his useless candidacy. After that, Kucinich and Lieberman will wise up, with Dean finally going down after Super Tuesday.
Joe Biden doesn’t enter the race. I saw him on Meet the Press. He soundedgreat, and might make a good VP. But again, he will not run for president.
Wesley Clark enters the race. This will effectively mean the end of John Kerry, who cannot win New Hampshire with a charismatic military man on his flank. Kerry’s own minions will slowly realize this and jump on the Clark bandwagon, as will the Dean-By-Default moderates.
Not sure if he’ll run? I saw Clark’s last two television appearances. Mark my words: he’s in.