Two Political Predictions by Gregory Hilton

First, Gov. Howard Dean (D-VT), the immediate past Chairman of the Democratic Party, will challenge President Obama for the nomination in 2012. Dean is continuing to emphasize his disagreements with the administration and was not pleased when he was passed over for a Cabinet slot. Dean is smart and he is an excellent public speaker. He has consistently been opposing Obama from the left, especially on health care. A surprise is that Dean is against the 9/11 Mosque and says: “I think some of my own folks at my end of the spectrum of the party are demonizing some fairly decent people who are opposed to this. In no way am I defending the right-wing of the Republican Party. 65% of the people are not right-wing bigots. Some of them really have deep emotional feelings about this.”
Second, if Republicans do not gain a House majority in November, there is an excellent chance that Democratic Reps. Walt Minnick (ID), Gene Taylor (MS), Jim Marshall (GA), David Boren (OK), Jim Matheson (UT) and Health Shuler (NC) will cross over to vote for a Republican Speaker. Bobby Bright (AL) would be at the top of this list but he is not expected to re-elected. Democrats will not strip of them of seniority out of fear they will change party registration and become Republicans. They could also switch if the GOP wins a majority.

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