The Daily Beast's Benjy Sarlin gives us an interesting flashback to 1994, when the prognosticators -- Charlie Cook, Stu Rothenberg, Larry Sabato -- all gave their confident predictions that Republicans would pick up around 25 seats in the House. In the end, they actually picked up 54. My favorite part is when Sabato says, "My slogan has always been: 'He who lives by the Crystal Ball ends up eating ground glass,'" by which I guess he means to say that if your predictions turn out wrong, you'll be held to account.
Days before the midterms, President Obama makes a final get-out-the-vote push for Democratic candidates in Bridgeport, Connecticut. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
When Barack Obama was elected in 2008, many Republicans went berserk. The governor of Texas began talking about seceding from the Union, religious conservatives literally saw the new president as the Antichrist and decided Armageddon was around the corner, and people even started listening to Glenn Beck. Now, faced with the likelihood of a Republican takeover of the House of Representatives (and the small but real possibility of the Senate turning Republican as well), Democrats have to decide just how freaked out to be.
One thing most successful presidential candidates demonstrate is a sunny disposition. Americans may want candidates who feel their pain, but they also like them to be hopeful and optimistic. Nobody wants to vote for Debbie Downer. It's one of those axioms (along with "the taller candidate always wins") that the more optimistic presidential candidate always seems to prevail.
Via Andrew Sullivan, we get this amusing clip of a reporter for a Texas television news program, amazed at the way some San Franciscans are enjoying themselves as they float in McCovey Cove awaiting World Series batting practice. "They're smoking weed!" he says again and again: