Now that the 2008 election is over, it's time to look back at the prognostications of the pundit class, those know-it-alls who pretend to give us lessor folk the inside scoop, intelligence earned by years of hard-won political analysis and deep insight.
Or not—which is the case in the following examples.
Take Patrick Buchanan (please!): Writing in the Tulsa World on September 3, Buchanan praised the brilliance of John McCain for his vice presidential pick. It was a huge gamble, Buchanan admitted, but it was a "sensational selection" that was quickly "paying off."
Sarah Palin was, he continued, "a game-changer in 2008" who "has become, overnight, the most priceless political asset the [conservative] movement has."
Sure, hindsight is twenty-twenty, but it takes a particular kind of political blindness not to recognize the naivete and vast ignorance of the Alaska governor, a person wholly unsuited to national office and a major drag on the McCain campaign.
Or take the Sage of Arkansas, Paul Greenberg, writing in the August 27 edition of the Tulsa World. He pronounced Barack Obama's selection of Joe Biden as vice president a "fatal [campaign] error."
Biden, Greenberg went on, is "a talented schmoozer/ glad-hander/salesman," as if that description didn't fit most of the state and national pols all across Arkansas and the 49 other states. Even worse, Greenberg wrote, Biden's selection was evidence of Barack Obama's flawed judgment. Given the embarrassing Mrs. Palin, that's rich.
Buchanan and Greenberg are veteran political observers. They're smart guys. But if this their considered political judgment, they're going to have to turn in their pundit cards.