Out on limbs sawn off

Yes, it’s time to take some account of prognostications gone bad.

My prediction that McCain would take General David Petraeus as his running mate was like picking the horse with 120-1 odds to win the Derby. I think that McCain nonetheless chose wisely, and boldly, in picking Sarah Palin.

But I really went out on a limb when I told readers that Barack Obama would have the nomination knocked away from him before the convention. In that instance I didn’t actually think the odds were that long, because I had my money on the most ruthless cheats in the Democratic Party — the Clintons.

My calculation involved two things: one was Obama’s ridiculous vulnerability (Wright, Ayers, Pfleger, Rezko, etc.), and the other was the Clintons’ unstoppable hunger for power.

Clearly, there was some third factor that I couldn’t see, and I’m not talking about Obama’s flair as a candidate, or merely the inertia of the process, or the historical circumstances. He is an extremely vulnerable candidate and what stayed the Clinton machine’s hand in bringing ruin to him remains a mystery.

Perhaps the Clintons were warned by black leaders that if Obama did not get the nomination at the convention that they, the black leaders, would lead an exodus of blacks out of the Democratic Party, and without their black voting base, Democrats, even those named Clinton, cannot win national elections.

But my point is that something stayed the Clintons’ hand. That is my belief.

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