My 8 Worst Predictions of 2009

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

A year as rough as 2009 should end with some tough self-appraisal. So here’s my look at my 8 worst predictions here at Fox & Hounds Daily over the year that passed. In reverse order:

8. I said Lamar Odom might leave the Lakers because of California taxes. I was wrong. What I didn’t account for was the allure of reality TV, and Khloe Kardashian.

7. Writing about the state’s stem cell agency and its board, I suggested that a public agency selling bonds in the private marketplace wasn’t such a bad idea. Given the persistence of the poor economy and the state’s budget problems, I’m no longer so sure about that.

6. Arnold’s future. In this item, actually written in late 2008, asking where Gov. Schwarzenegger might go next, I raised the possibility he could leave before the end of his term to work in the Obama administration. Dead wrong.

5. Special Election Error 1: I suggested that the 2010 gubernatorial candidates would emerge as major players in the May special election. For the most part, the candidates stayed on the periphery and the measures failed all by themselves.

4. Special Election Error 2. While I correctly predicted that the special election results would cost Mike Villines his leadership posts, I also predicted that Assembly Speaker Karen Bass would be out too. It’s Christmas, and she still has her job.

3. Federal assistance. Remember the federal loan guarantees that, I predicted, California would eventually receive. Well, we’re still waiting for them.

2. Meg Whitman. I criticized her for a disastrous press conference at the California Republican Party convention in early fall, and event so far as to describe her campaign as in “meltdown” in late September. It’s now clear from the polls that, at that very moment, she was starting to make gains.

1. Tax commission. I took the Commission on the 21st Century Economy, also known as the Parsky commission, seriously. I thought it had a chance of producing real change. I was wrong, in multiple columns, beginning January 14, when maybe optimism was warranted, through July 16, when I should have known better.

Share this article: Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Comment on this article


Please note, statements and opinions expressed on the Fox&Hounds Blog are solely those of their respective authors and may not represent the views of Fox&Hounds Daily or its employees thereof. Fox&Hounds Daily is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the site's bloggers.