‘Barack Obama is not going to beat Hillary Clinton’
— William Kristol, Dec. 17, 2006
William Kristol boldly proclaimed on Dec. 17, 2006, “Barack Obama is not going to beat Hillary Clinton in a single Democratic primary. I’ll predict that right now.” He was not alone in his stark assessment. In late 2006, no one inside the clubby, cocktail-party-fueled world of D.C. gave Obama much of a chance. But Kristol’s prediction was far more brashly stated than most of the Obama skepticism that flavored the Beltway conventional wisdom at the time. After all, even a down-and-out Howard Dean won his home state of Vermont in 2004, so the notion that Obama wouldn’t even win his home state of Illinois was patently absurd. Of course, accuracy was never Kristol’s aim when he made the assertion. As a dedicated neoconservative, he’s always been far more interested in advancing his ideology than in being correct. That’s why he settled into sinecures at conservative propaganda outfits like The Weekly Standard and Fox News. Yet despite being consistently wrong on everything from how the Iraq War would be a cakewalk to who would win the Democratic nomination, Kristol’s career has climbed ever upward. Unlike normal Americans, the Great Beltway Pundit is part of a class that appears to be immune from accountability—ideologues with willful disregard for reality. Just witness how Kristol was rewarded for his election-cycle mis-prognostications with one of the most coveted soapboxes in American media: The New York Times op-ed page.