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View Diary: Dick Morris Predicts Rick Perry Victory for 2016! (Don't tell Pres. Romney) (19 comments)

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    Guest commentator and political prognosticator[edit]

    Since leaving Clinton's employ in 1996, Morris has said he has become profoundly "disillusioned" with the actions of the Clintons in the late 1990s. He has since formed a career as a political commentator and critic of the Clintons (particularly Hillary), appearing on Fox News programs such as Hannity & Colmes, Hannity, and the O'Reilly Factor, and on various local and nationally syndicated radio talk shows. Morris is also a regular columnist and Pundits Blogger for The Hill, a nonpartisan daily newspaper based in Washington, D.C., and for NewsMax.com, a conservative online news website.[31][32][33] Morris regularly makes predictions about candidates' chances of winning elections during these appearances.

    Regarding the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, he initially stated that Howard Dean's candidacy could be written off right away. While ultimately vindicated, he had earlier discussed the likelihood of Dean defeating John Kerry after early strong showings by the former Vermont governor. Kerry defeated Dean and all his other rivals and won the nomination.

    In a column in The Hill on June 22, 2005, Morris predicted that Hillary Clinton would face her "worst nightmare" in her 2006 Senate race against moderate Republican candidate Jeanine Pirro, whose campaign subsequently collapsed within a matter of two months after repeated crushing defeats in the opinion polls due to her husband's alleged Mafia ties. He even went so far as to suggest that Hillary Clinton would drop out to focus on her 2008 presidential campaign.[34][35]

    In 2005 Morris wrote that Hurricane Katrina "has the capacity to shape the second Bush term in the same way September 11 shaped his first term—not only in rebuilding New Orleans but in taking preventative steps around the nation to bolster our defenses against natural and man-made disasters and terror strikes. Responding to disasters is a source of presidential strength and popularity, and Bush is about to show how it is done."[36]

    In a 2005 book on the 2008 presidential campaign, Morris stated that it was most likely that Hillary Clinton would face Condoleezza Rice for the presidency. Morris's critics reacted by mocking his mistaken predictions of past races. Appearing on Fox News' Hannity and Colmes on January 29, 2008, Morris said that those voting for John Edwards were "at the moment... those that can't decide which they don't like more—a black or a woman getting elected". Morris elaborated that exit polls showed some Edwards voters were unsure if a woman or an African-American, in reference to then Democratic Primary front runners Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, could get elected to the Presidency for the first time in 2008.[37]

    After Obama won the 2008 election, Morris was critical of him. In early 2009, Morris said: "Those crazies in Montana who say, 'We're going to kill ATF agents because the UN's going to take over'? Well, they're beginning to have a case."[38] In April 2009, Morris keynoted an animated debate at the Yale Political Union on the topic "Resolved: Save Capitalism from President Obama".[39]

    In March 2010, About.com, owned by The New York Times Company, named Morris one of the top 20 conservatives to follow on Twitter.[40]

    In a March 2011 column for The Hill, Morris predicted that Obama would not win a second term as President.[41] For many years a "disillusioned Democrat," Dick Morris has stated he is now a Republican.

    In August 2011, Morris began a petition on his website opposing federal funding for the Park51 Muslim community center, claiming that the center is "designed to celebrate the attacks that killed 3,000 Americans", and that the center would "train the same kinds of terrorists who caused the... attacks".

    In July 2012, he stated that he believed that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney would pick Florida Senator Marco Rubio as his running mate; insisting "It's the only choice that makes sense," going as far as to state, "I believe Mitt Romney has known for six months that he's going to pick Marco Rubio."[42] Romney would end up choosing Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate.[43]

    In August 2012 Morris claimed that Bill Clinton was going to vote for Mitt Romney, but that he would still speak in favor of Obama because "his wife is hostage."[44]

    In October 2012, Morris was a speaker at a special meeting of the Republican Caucus of the Georgia House of Representatives to discuss claims that Obama was using 'mind-control' techniques to create a Communist dictatorship controlled by the United Nations under the guise of promoting sustainability and public transportation. Speaking at the event, Morris argued that Obama's aim was to join with the United Nations to "force everyone into the cities from whence our ancestors fled."[45]

    2012 Electoral College prediction[edit]

    As of November 5, the day before the 2012 presidential election, Morris predicted on his website and in an article in The Hill that the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, would win the Presidency in a landslide "approaching the magnitude of Obama's against McCain." Specifically, he stated that Romney would win 325 electoral votes and that Obama would win 213.[46][47] He explained the logic behind his prediction in a video posted at his website.[48] He made this prediction in the face of an overwhelming consensus among expert pollsters leading up to election night that Obama would win at least the Electoral College and likely the popular vote.[49] Morris wrote on his website, "On Sunday, we changed our clocks. On Tuesday, we’ll change our president."[47] With regard to his prognostications, Morris announced on Fox and Friends two days before the election that after the election "either I'm gonna have to go through a big reckoning, or they [the mainstream pollsters] are."[50] Jon Stewart mocked the idea on The Daily Show, calling Dick Morris the "King of Wrong Mountain" and claiming that pundits live in a "reckoning-free zone."[51] Morris was the least accurate major pundit in predicting the 2012 presidential election.[52]

    In Morris's article in The Hill, he identified some "key mistakes" by the Obama campaign, which he stated would cost Obama the election:
    The campaign "bet the farm on negative ads in swing states."
    Obama never moved to the political center.
    The Obama campaign did not consider Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan or Minnesota swing states.
    Obama "became nothing more than a nasty partisan" instead of trying to look presidential.
    Obama offered nothing more than "a grab-bag of special-interest pleadings for single women, unions, college kids and minorities".
    Obama underperformed in the first presidential debate.
    Obama was slow to release information about the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi.
    Obama returned to campaigning too quickly after Hurricane Sandy.

    On November 7, 2012, the day after the election, Morris published an article in The Hill titled "Why I was wrong".[53] Morris stated that he had "egg on his face" and that the "key reason for my bum prediction is that I believed, mistakenly, that the 2008 surge in black, Latino and young voter turnout would recede in 2012 to 'normal' levels. Didn’t happen. These high levels of minority and young voter participation are here to stay. And, with them, a permanent reshaping of our nation’s politics." In a subsequent interview on Fox News, Morris added: "I called it as I saw it from the polling and I did the best I could and I also worked very hard for Romney." He elaborated on the latter point by explaining that he thought it was his duty to help the Romney campaign by countering pessimism about Romney's chances.[54]

    According to FEC disclosures, Morris' Super PAC For America disbursed approximately $1.7mm for "fundraising" to Newsmax.com, who Morris is closely affiliated with.[55] Emails from both Morris and Newsmax were paid for by Super PAC for America. Some media outlets speculate that Morris took advantage of Super PAC For America donations by paying Newsmax for fundraising which in turn paid Morris large sums of money to 'rent' his email list.[56][57]

    After the election, Morris did not appear on Fox News for almost three months. Finally on February 5, 2013, Fox announced that it would not renew Morris' contract.[16] In addition to his numerous inaccurate predictions, Morris had been criticized for accepting paid ads on his Website from candidates whom he discussed on the air-raising the appearance of a conflict of interest.[58]

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