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.
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.
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
I didn't think
that Bobby Jindal's tepidly-reviewed response to the State of the Union speech would jeopardize his presidential aspirations.
Charlie Crist's support among Florida Republicans.
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is a senior fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy.