On health care, I did not anticipate that Obama would have more problems corralling liberals than moderate Democrats. And I assumed that liberals would cave more easily than...they will.
The psychology gurus suggest that any good professional take inventory of the mistakes he or she made at the end of every year. I'm happy to let my record -- hundreds of thousands of words -- speak for itself. Nonetheless, my analytic assertions didn't always turn out to be...shall we say... on point. To clear the decks for 2010, I hereby present to you a list of the Major Things I Got Wrong in 2009.
I did not anticipate the degree of substantive criticism directed at Obama by progressives -- a healthy development for Obama, if not for the White House.
I did not anticipate the degree to which the inherent polarization of our politics would manifest itself so quickly after the 2008 elections.
I assumed that this White House, led by Rahm Emanuel, would figure out a way to scare institutional actors and throw its power around. No one is afraid of the White House now.
I assumed that President Obama's speech at Ft. Hood would be remembered as the best of his presidency so far; I completely missed the significance of his Oslo Nobel Prize speech until well after he gave it.
I supposed that early support for the president's economic agenda would remain solid; I did not anticipate that independents would begin to turn away, as they did.
In my first post about prospective Supreme Court nominees, I failed to mention Sonia Sotomayor.
I didn't think that Bobby Jindal's tepidly-reviewed response to the State of the Union speech would jeopardize his presidential aspirations.
I overstated Charlie Crist's support among Florida Republicans.
Marc Ambinder is a senior fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy.