Jim Newell at Salon.com has an article about the volumes and volumes of nonsense that issues forth from political pundits, especially leading up to and during campaign season. He goes back and quotes “expert” after “expert” as they predicted that each and every potential candidate — Giuliani, Trump, Palin, Huckabee — was serious about the race and was a real challenger to Mitt Romney.
I was especially amused by those who were sure Sarah Palin was going to jump into the race. I must have said a hundred times over the last year or so that Sarah Palin not only wasn’t going to run for president, but that she never had any intention at all of doing so despite her very public campaign to maintain the illusion that she was giving it serious thought (something she isn’t capable of in the first place). And the reason seemed absolutely obvious to me: Running for president is work. It’s really hard work. It’s 16 or 18 hour days on the campaign trail, rushing from one event to another, frantic phone calls with advisers filling up the time on the bus in between. And actually being president is even more work yet, with unbelievable amounts of stress. Sarah Palin doesn’t want that life. She wants the life she has, with fame and wealth and no need to actually do something to get it. That’s why she quit as governor of Alaska in the first place. And anyone who didn’t get that was just kidding themselves.
And guess which pundit is the most often wrong? The man who, more than anyone else, is responsible for Palin’s emergence on the national stage and eventual nomination by McCain: Bill Kristol.
Bill Kristol, the publisher of the neoconservative Weekly Standard, is the most notoriously wrong-all-the-time political commentator in America. The vocal advocate behind such hits as “the Iraq war will go swimmingly” and “Sarah Palin would be a great vice presidential candidate” typically spent most of this campaign season incorrectly speculating, or “reporting,” on which candidates would join the race. In a way, this made Kristol useful. We knew, for example, that a Rudy Giuliani for President 2012 campaign — however unlikely that ever was — would definitely never materialize after Bill Kristol wrote this on June 8, 2011: “I’m told by two reliable sources that Rudy Giuliani intends to run for the GOP nomination for president in 2012. He may throw his hat in the ring soon.”
Hey, I fell victim to some of this myself when I predicted that Michele Bachmann, while she had no chance of actually getting elected, could become the major not-Romney in the race, his primary conservative challenger. Then I said the same thing about Rick Perry. In my defense, I just didn’t realize how incredibly stupid Rick Perry is and how obvious that would become once he hit the national stage. The man would need a promotion to get to be an idiot.