Thursday, November 09, 2006

Election Epilogue - Prognostication Scorecard - Tsunami Flotsam

It was a big news day yesterday in the wake of the election results, and three big stories touched on pre-election predictions from this blog.

50-50 Senate

Although Burns and Allen have not yet conceded, the main stream media have called the contests in Montana and Virginia for Tester, Webb and the Democrats. That leaves the final count for the Senate at 51-49 if you assume that Lieberman will stick by his pre-election commitment to caucus with the Democrats. The DWSUWF 50-50 Prediction offered two scenarios, one of which is still in play:
"There is only one outcome, no matter how improbable, that satisfies both the betting markets, and the 100 year rule: The Senate finishes at fifty-fifty, with Dick Cheney casting the controlling vote for Republicans. There is your answer: 50-50... How do we get there? ... Democrats hold NJ, and take PA, RI, OH, MT, VA and MO, for a count of 51-49 in favor of the Democrats, but then Lieberman takes a plum committee charimanship, agrees to caucus with Republicans, and again we have a final tally of 50-50."
Nailed the Senate picks, and Joe is yet to heard from, but in retrospect I now have a hard time believing that Joe will abandon the winning team. Let us just leave this one as undecided until the new Congress convenes and we see what Joe does.

This result (Democrats controlling both houses) has clear implications for the divided government voting strategy in '08. Stay tuned.

Rumsfeld Resigns (Final call for Rum & Macs)

DWSUWF originally predicted that Rumsfeld would have to go in this September 4 post - "I'll have a Rum & Mac on the rocks", which was updated and reposted November 4 - "Bartender! Another Rum & Mac. Make that a double.":
"Rumsfeld is history. It is only a question of time and timing. Rumsfeld resigns as soon as a replacement is identified and agreed. Is it politic to wait until after the mid-terms, or to act now? My guess - He resigns within the week and (since we are already out on a limb, might as well climb out on the small branches) John McCain is the new Secretary of Defense.... Rove and the Republicans know exactly what is coming, and no one has ever accused them of being politically naive... Rumsfeld can play the misunderstood, misquoted, patriotic, loyal soldier, taking a bullet for the team, while the media takes the blame. Here is his speech: - "Even though my words have been misreported and misrepresented, I cannot allow my words and my presence to become a distraction, and a detriment to the important work facing the President and the American people in this war against terror." The President expresses his regrets, and appoints a universally respected unassailable warrior in his place. In a couple of weeks, Rumsfeld gets his medal, and we move on... Will it happen? Just ask yourself - Can the Republicans maintain the majority with two months of continuous Rumsfeld/Iraq War bashing between now and the election? On the other hand, can they possibly pull it out with a "fresh start" and a new voice calling for a new direction on war?"
There are actually a number of predictions here:
  • Rumsfeld was politically radioactive and would be fired or resign (HIT).
  • It would happen within two weeks (MISS - It took two months).
  • Republicans could not maintain a majority with Rumsfeld as a convenient target during the election (HIT).
  • Rumsfeld will receive the Medal of Freedom (TBD - but it is a given).
  • He would be replaced by John McCain (MISS).
  • He would be replaced by an "unassailable warrior" (HIT).
  • Bush would rhetorically claim a "fresh start" (HIT - actual quote was "fresh eyes").

I also wrote Donald Rumsfeld's resignation speech for him, but he chose not to use it, instead he went with:
Frankly, he would have been better served using my speech.

Denny Hastert Impact on Midterms

DWSUWF predicted that the Republican efforts to mobilize their base and swing the election by demonizing Nancy Pelosi would be ineffective due to the ethically challenged Republican alternative - Denny Hastert:
The voters took Denny out of the Speaker's role, although his district put him back in Congress. He stated yesterday that he will not seek a leadership role within the new minority party. How about another prediction? Denny Hastert will resign in disgrace before his two year term is completed.


Several DWSUWF posts were included in Blog Carnivals this week. We are always pleased to participate in the fine blogospheric selections to be found in these compilations. check them out:

Kilo at Spark it Up
is hosting the Virginia Blog Carnival this week, and included our "Fifty-Fifty" prognostication post, despite complaining bitterly that DWSUWF is not a a Virginia Blog. Hey - at least I mentioned VA in the post. Kilo should take a hint from Paul at Newshound who did not whine about including the same post in The Carnival of Ohio Politics (and while it was still a prediction BTW). Ken at Random Thoughts also included the 50-50 prognostication in The Carnival of The Decline of Democracy. I think Ken should change the name of his carnival after these midterm results. Pat Sanity at Dr. Sanity agreed that Disunity06 trumps Unity08 in the Carnival of the Insanities earlier in the week. Pat also included Don Surber's extremely bad election prediction, hinting that Don was engaging in some serious wishful thinking. Finally, both the Festival of Investing and the Carnival of the Capitalists included some of our thoughts on Investors and Divided Government, which was cross-posted at the Inactivist.
[UPDATE] - Paul, being more industrious than I, posted a second Carnival of Ohio Politics this week to pick up the election post-mortems, including the DWSUWF post you are reading now. Also in the carnival, Paul contributes his own moderate conservative perspective in this thoughtful post. Coincidently, both the Ohio Politics and Divided Government carnivals will be posted next on Nov 22nd. If you have some thoughts on our shiny sparkling new divided government - submit your post here. Remember - if your post does not include the words "divided government" or "gridlock" it is not on topic for the Carnival of Divided Government.

I have already defused and disposed of the google bomb out of the right sidbar, but there is some more clean-up needed in the left sidebar as we clear the decks for the '08 elections. We are also facing some decisions about our blogging platform, as Google/Blogger is suggesting we move to the new "Blogger Beta". We are highly dubious. As an old software salesman, I just don't do beta.

Divided and Balanced.™ Now that is fair.

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