By Wayne William Cipriano
One of the many (many, many) problems you encounter when you have frequent political discussions with someone who has almost perfect recall (such as my Cousin Billy) is that promises or predictions you made in the long-ago will be brought back to your attention with unfailing regularity.
In this particular case are the presidential candidate predictions I made here on May 14, 2015, and promised to revisit after the conventions.
I got one of them right (no surprise, Hillary Clinton) but missed her vice president and both the Republican candidates. In my defense, 15 months ago Jeb Bush’s light had yet to flare so brightly and extinguish so dramatically and Donald Trump’s candidacy was not more than a joke on late-night television. Who knew every single member of the Republican Party would run for the nomination? Tim Kaine was a happily elected senator from Virginia passed over regularly for the vice president spot, and Mike Pence was about as unknown as a senator could be. And, as they say, a day in politics is a lifetime, a week is an eternity.
I was thinking Hillary would collect Latino support with one of the Castro brothers and Chris Christy (the only rational choice I could discern among the Republicans with any real hope for victory in the General Election) would choose Marco Rubio for the same reason.
I still hold to my analysis such that Hillary will win the General and that she will have some coattails and bring along a Democrat senate. I predicted the House would also follow, but the Dems are behaving so surprisingly suicidally that I would revise that estimation if my cousin Billy would let me.
Hillary Clinton’s win will be a runaway. Her victory, while ranking below the really BIG electoral College percentages: FDR – 98.5%; Monroe – 98.3%; Reagan – 97.6%; Nixon – 96.7% (hard to think about, isn’t it?), I think her ballots will place her in the next group of winners: Jefferson 92%, Lincoln 90.6%, and LBJ 90.3%
Even a casual glance at those electoral college sweeps will convince anyone that a high percentage has little to do with how well a president will perform while in office. And, as before, my estimated margin of victory does not necessarily reflect my hopes nor my esteem. I have always tried to separate what I hope will happen from what I think will happen, and the exercise has stood me in good stead.
Thus, I consider my promise to recount the predictions I made 15 months ago satisfied. And I have now given my cousin Billy something new to harp about come the Ides of December when electors shall have cast their ballots.
Before you pile aspersions upon my guesses, what are yours? Are you brave enough to announce them to my cousin Billy?
Ha! I thought not.