Rich Galen

“[T]he absence so far of strong challengers to Bush has fueled various doomsday scenarios for the Democrats: that their Senate majority could be toppled and that their House majority could be imperiled with many Democratic Members either retiring or having to run for reelection in new seats drawn after the 1990-91 redistricting.”

As late as August of 1991, USA Today wrote:

“What once was shrugged off by Democrats as a passing gust of the political winds - the absence of heavyweight challengers to President Bush - is now looming as a major political embarrassment.”

You might remember that on January 20, 1993 it was Bill Clinton who stood at the West Front of the Capitol and took the oath of office for his first term, not George H.W. Bush for his second.

It is true that Clinton was aided and abetted by Ross Perot who mounted a furious third-party candidacy and who, in spite of not winning any electoral votes, got nearly 20 percent of the popular vote.

While H.W. would probably not have won anyway, Perot’s candidacy clearly cost Bush several states, much as – eight years later – third party candidate Ralph Nader likely cost Al Gore a victory in Florida and we know how that turned out.

So, when you hear the office know-it-all state with absolute certainty that they can divine the outcome of the Presidential election in November 2012 because of the polling in April of 2011; smile, nod, stir your coffee, and walk back to your desk.

He (or she) has no idea what’s going to happen.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at