The expertise of Dick Morris

In the New York Post, the former political consulting powerhouse offers some advice to Barack Obama without acknowledging his earlier predictions.

Published March 10, 2008 5:06PM (EDT)

Writing in the New York Post on Sunday, Dick Morris and his wife, Eileen McGann, offered some advice to Barack Obama. "The Clintons' campaign attacks put Obama in a bind," the pair writes. "If he doesn't answer in kind, he's toast.

"But if he does, they'll have forced him off his winning message of hope and change from the bitter politics of the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush eras.

"If they pull him off his game and onto theirs, they can wrest away the Democratic convention victory that he's earned.

"The solution for Obama is clear: Reply in kind, but do it through surrogates."

That left us wondering why Obama would take Morris' advice seriously at this point. Sure, Morris knows the Clintons well, having worked for Bill Clinton on several campaigns, most notably his 1996 reelection campaign, from which Morris resigned after his alleged affair with a prostitute was revealed. And he has made a career out of Clinton hatred ever since.

But the record of Morris' and McGann's predictions about how this particular election cycle would shake out is not a good one. The two coauthored a book, "Condi vs. Hillary: The Next Great Presidential Race." On the first page of the first chapter, they depicted Hillary Clinton's presidential inauguration. A page later, they wrote:

[Clinton's] victory is not inevitable. There is one, and only one, figure in America who can stop Hillary Clinton: Secretary of State Condoleezza "Condi" Rice.

Of course, Rice never actually ran for president. And if you believe what Morris and McGann said on Sunday -- that Obama has earned a victory at the Democratic convention -- then their prediction that only Rice could stand in the way of Clinton's election would seem to have been proven wrong.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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