Who Is Obama’s Successor?
Wouldn’t you like to know who the next president is going to be so you can go on with your life? Wouldn’t you like to bypass the cacophonies of the 2016 presidential elections? Instead of listening to all those candidates lying to you over and over and over just so you can vote for them? Well, I am in no position to fulfill those wishes but I’d like to offer you a compromise; I will whisper in your ears Obama’s successor. Deal?
Great! Now, I want to bring your attention to the tense used in the title: Who Is Obama’s Successor? Notice what I didn’t say, Who Will Be? Well, it’s my way of saying that I can predict with the utmost certitude who the next president is (going to be). Nope, I am not kidding. Elections are over; go home and enjoy your life. I outlined below a number of predictions I made over the years and most recently regarding the “Joe Biden’s decision Not to run” and I will predict later who Obama’s successor is. Ready?
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In February of 2014, a year after Hillary Clinton gave up the post of Secretary of State to John Kerry, before any pundit could dare to declare with certitude that Hillary would run for president – for fear of jeopardizing their reputation for being wrong of course – I was absolutely certain she would and I said so then. Here is an excerpt taken from the article I wrote and published in my blog then “Hillary gave the signal a very longtime ago. When she decided to step down as Secretary of State as Obama began his second term, Hillary had already made the decision, well before, to run for president. Of course, much like all politicians, she provided a “litany of other reasons” for leaving the post of Secretary of State. It is however without doubt that she made the calculations not to risk her political capital in unpredictable world events such as the Benghazi debacle that could affect her chances to win the presidency in 2016. To put as much time between her serving the Obama administration and her declaring her candidacy is indeed a very smart move.
The Republicans know that. Divided, with no strategy, no message, no plan, a constantly changing frontrunner of the party (Chris Christie is marred in the Bridgegate scandal), disconnected from the constituents, faced with the reality that GOP Reps are becoming less and less relevant and scared by the prospect of Hillary Clinton becoming the Democratic nominee, the Republicans are pulling all the stops to discourage her from running. And that’s what Democrats should fear. Hillary is not thinking about whether to run. She already made that decision. Democrats should fear that she may change her mind and decide NOT to run.”
Of course, one prediction is nothing to celebrate about; everybody can make a prediction or two, right? You may recall up until the announcement that he’s not seeking the presidency, most pundits swore (on their mothers’ graves) that Joe Biden was going to challenge Hillary Clinton for the party nomination. According to a recent article (Inside Biden’s Final Deliberations) in Huffington Post, even Biden’s chief of staff had a difficult time reading what Biden’s decision would be. In fact, during Obama’s re-election celebration in January 2013, Biden sent many signals of his intent to run for the presidency in 2016; and in the past few months, he took several initiatives which had reinforced the belief that he is going to run for the seat of the presidency. Most pundits believed so; many voters wanted it and Joe Biden seriously considered it but I wasn’t swayed by all the noise; here is an excerpt of an article I wrote and published in my blog in regards to Joe Biden’s decision “Despite wishes and prayers invoking the gods of Elections to grant one last favor, that of having Joe Biden run for president, the Republican Party is not at ease, and for good reason; it should stop praying and wishing. Joe Biden is not going to seek the office of the presidency. As tempting as it may be, Joe Biden is a very pragmatic individual; family issue aside, Joe Biden may not have the wherewithal to sustain a long and demanding campaign to the end; Joe knows it too. The only obvious winner, if Joe were to run, is the Republican Party. Joe knows that too. Joe would not hand such gift to the Party which has criticized him throughout his tenure as vice president; Joe Biden is not running for president.”
Okay I made two predictions which came true, big deal. Well, it is a big deal; they were the latest but they were not my only predictions which came true. There were a few before that. It all started during the 2000 presidential elections (George W. Bush vs Al Gore). It came as a surprise and probably a big disappointment to my siblings, other family members and close friends that at our 2000 Family Summer Event I opined that George W. Bush was going to be the next president (after Bill Clinton). You may recall how George got into the White House as president (he was selected despite having received 543,895 fewer votes than Al Gore nationwide), my prediction was a wash but nevertheless came true. In 2003 however (one year before the elections), despite blatant mishandling of the Iraq war by and an obvious lack of leadership of George W. Bush, I predicted that Mr. Bush would be re-elected. Needless to re-hash my family’s disappointment, again! It so happened that I was right.
It was not difficult to arrive at that conclusion, well ahead of analysts, experts and of course Republican fanatics who wished the same. After observing Mr. Bush in office for the previous four years, factoring the country sentiment then, and watching his opponents debating during the primary seasons, I could easily conclude that his opponent in the general elections (whoever he happened to be) would be no match to George W. Bush. No, not because George is smart; we all know better; we saw him in action. George was a very interesting character, somewhat of an awkward type but he was also a very simple individual; he came across – genuinely – as having no clue what he was talking about but he came across sincere. His opponents on the other hand were very cryptic; you would need to attend political science classes to decipher most of what they were trying to convey. The constituents, I rationalized, could easily identify with George. Well, I was right. George won 286 electoral votes vs 251 for his opponent, Senator John Kerry of MA. George also won by a comfortable popular vote of well over 3,000,000.
But of all the predictions I made which came true, the most remarkable one is my prediction of Obama’s first term presidency win. It may not sound a big deal today but it was a very big deal then. Think about it. It’s a prediction done at a time when the prospect of a black man as president of the United States was a farfetched idea, a wish at best. Besides, Mrs. Clinton a well-known figure in the country, in the world even, was already crowned the Democrat favorite nominee –before the race even began – by both Democrat and Republican pundits, experts and yes even the party’s constituency. Yes, to predict accurately that a black man with an “islamic sounding name” would become president in 2008 was a big deal. A black man? With an islamic name? After September 11, 2001? Yes, that was a very freaking big deal; in fact, it was the “rubber-meet-the-road” test of my ability to accurately predict the outcome of presidential elections before anyone could.
I have the uncanny ability to look beyond mere words, campaign slogans, talking points, mudslinging and party politics – I don’t subscribe to one party or another – in order to accurately predict who is going to make it and who is not? While I have yet to create a model of my approach to enable others to make accurate predictions – not just in presidential elections – it does require excellent attention to details and the ability to perform analysis completely ridden of political inclination; in other words, with my approach one can only make as accurate a prediction as one is not inclined to be for or against a party.
After watching a discussion by Mr. Obama with NY Times reporter Bob Herbert about the “Audacity of Hope” – a book he wrote and published in October 2006 – at the JFK library on October 20, 2006, I walked away at the end of the discussion certain that Mr. Obama would be the next president of the United States, an opinion I could not possibly share with anyone, yet. Obama had just made a statement a couple of weeks prior hinting at the possibility of a run for the presidency. When he officially did in February of 2007, I followed Mr. Obama closely, listened to every word he uttered and watched all his interviews. After the first Democrat debate on April 26, 2007 I was already comfortable telling others that Mr. Obama would become the next president but I held off until our Family Thanksgiving in November of that year; by then there were already fifteen other Democrat debates, the last one before the Thanksgiving holidays was on November 15, 2007. By then, my prediction was proven time and again by what I could decipher from Obama’s communication style, his handling of the issues and the country sentiment.
When everyone was gathered around the table, I volunteered to pray and give thanks to God. Immediately thereafter, I made the “dreadful” announcement that “Mr. Obama will be the next president of the United States” after George W. Bush. There was complete silence; it seemed as if the whole world froze. No birds chirping, no car passing by, no kids playing, nothing. Everything stopped. Everyone (at the table) was staring at me; you could hear a pin drop. After a “long” minute which felt like an eternity, the silence was broken by one of my uncles stating in a serious tone “this boy has to have his head checked out”.
Everyone proceeded to fill their plates, some shaking their heads, others still silent in disbelief. What the hell was I thinking? I was thinking. Why did I have to be the one ruining the evening? That would eventually happen anyway, revelations of some family dark secrets or some out of place comments. I felt completely alone in a room filled with family members and friends. I felt like running out; I couldn’t. I was frozen, speechless, almost incapacitated. My confidence (in my ability to predict presidential elections outcome) suddenly grew wings and flew away leaving the room, without me; I had a bland expression on my face I was told later. My eyes looked through everyone. I looked like a zombie. Miraculously, one of my cousins came to my rescue when she asked “how can you be so sure?” The tensions which filled the room a moment ago began to deflate; I waited a full minute before saying “do you really, seriously want to know?” to which everyone chimed in unison – as if it were rehearsed – “Yes”.
I explained that Obama, in spite of his professorial and annoying habit (and because of it) not only commanded attention but he was also the only candidate who, among many other issues, could make compelling arguments both against the war in Iraq and providing funding for the protection of the soldiers serving in the hotspots. You may recall how unpopular the Iraq war had become! The constituency, I explained, is in need of someone who is serious about disengaging from the war. No career politician in Washington could be trusted with that task. Obama was a Junior Senator then, barely a familiar figure in Washington political circles; his record was not yet tarnished. He was young, energetic, articulate and came across genuine and honest, something the other candidates were lacking. After my “expose” which lasted the whole evening, I was labeled a dreamer, a major upgrade from being labeled “crazy” earlier. Notwithstanding, I was right in my prediction. And again, for the 2012 presidential elections, despite the myriad contrarian winds against Obama, I predicted he would be re-elected. Drum roll! He did.
So, who is the next president?
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