It would seem unfair to mock a reporter for predicting, months in advance and almost exactly, the dynamics and upshot of the year's biggest political story.
Nevertheless, Jon Stewart compared Atlantic contributing editor Marc Ambinder to Harry Potter on last night's episode of "The Daily Show," in the process of noting that Marc saw the debt-limit stalemate coming in December. Skip to 4:00 for the relevant section.
At a press conference on Dec. 7, 2010, held as Obama and Republicans negotiated a deal to extend the Bush tax cuts, end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and approve an arms-control treaty with Russia, Marc asked Obama about the GOP's leverage to enact spending cuts by refusing to raise the debt limit. From the transcript:
AMBINDER: Mr. President, thank you. How do these negotiations affect negotiations or talks with Republicans about raising the debt limit? Because it would seem that they have a significant amount of leverage over the White House now, going in. Was there ever any attempt by the White House to include raising the debt limit as a part of this package?
OBAMA: When you say it would seem they'll have a significant amount of leverage over the White House, what do you mean?
AMBINDER: Just in the sense that they'll say essentially we're not going to raise the -- we're not going to agree to it unless the White House is able to or willing to agree to significant spending cuts across the board that probably go deeper and further than what you're willing to do. I mean, what leverage would you have --
Well done, Marc. Your prescience has earned you some good publicity and grief.
Video credit: Comedy Central