Smash That Crystal Ball

By Frum, David | Newsweek, January 25, 2013 | Go to article overview

Smash That Crystal Ball


Frum, David, Newsweek


Byline: David Frum

The next president could come out of nowhere.

Marco Rubio or Hillary Clinton? Paul Ryan or Joe Biden? You weren't a pundit in good standing unless you broke into last weekend's ceremonials to speculate on who might be taking the oath four years from now.

What a waste of time. With rare exceptions, the next president isn't imaginable four years before. Go through the list of the past half-century: Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy. Except for the two Bushes--about whom more in a second--none would have been predicted four years previous.

In January 2005, Hillary Clinton was the clear frontrunner for the next Democratic nomination, and the likely next president. Barack Obama? Nobody was even polling his name in 2005. When he began to show up in polls in 2006, he lagged behind Hillary Clinton by more than 25 points among Democrats.

In January 1989, wise people almost unanimously expected New York governor Mario Cuomo to walk away with the Democratic nomination in 1992. Bill Clinton? He was the Arkansas governor with a zipper problem, much mocked among pundits for delivering an overlong speech to the Democratic convention in 1988.

Ronald Reagan was not an obscure person in January 1977. But he was generally considered to be washed up. His insurgent challenge to the incumbent Gerald Ford in the 1976 Republican primaries had opened the way to Jimmy Carter's election in the general. Post-election, he seemed too divisive and too old ever to run again. The smart money looked to younger men, like former Texas governor John Connally (a huge favorite of big-money donors in the 1980 cycle) and former CIA director George Bush.

As for Carter, in January 1973, he was still three years away even from becoming "Jimmy Who?" (the nickname journalists would award him after he won the Iowa caucuses in 1976). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Smash That Crystal Ball
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.