Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dan Gerstein has a piece... Forbes in which he makes predictions for 2010 a la William Safire. In the executive branch, Gerstein calls for White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to get the axe. On Capitol Hill, he calls for the Republicans to gain back 30 to 54 seats in the House and 3 to 5 in the Senate. (That House call is ballsy; kind of like me saying that the Bears will win anywhere from 5 to 15 games next year.) While he expects Speaker Nancy Pelosi to retain her job, Gerstein predicts that Majority Leader Harry Reid loses his and is replaced by Chuck Schumer of New York. Finally, Gerstein sees former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman returning from China to win the GOP nomination for president in 2012. Interesting stuff, but as always, I have my own take on things.

First of all, Rahm Emanuel isn't going anywhere. He and Nancy Pelosi are two of the most effective people in Washington. As for Janet Napolitano, it wouldn't be hard to see her go, but I like Chris Matthews's prediction more. He thinks Bob Gates will step down from Defense and be replaced by former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel. In the House, I think the Republican gains will be more in the neighborhood of 25-30; Gerstein's 3 to 5 in the Senate sounds about right to me. In any event, the Democrats should retain both houses of Congress. I agree that Harry Reid is vulnerable in the Senate, and I wouldn't have a problem with either Chuck Schumer or Dick Durbin. The Huntsman call is a new one on me; I hadn't read that anywhere. It certainly makes sense, though. Like 2008, the GOP race is wide open, although I still give Sarah Palin a 50/50 chance at securing the nomination.

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