I keep seeing these ads on TV for the upcoming movie "Ghost of Girlfriends Past" which seems to be about some commitment-phobic guy coming to the realization that he let the love of his life get away and he needs to get her back. The Dickensian look at relationships from the "what was, what is, what could be" viewpoint – an oft-used plot device in film ("It's a Wonderful Life," anyone?) – focuses on the big question, "What If…?".
In election politics, pundits earn their bread and butter by pondering and debating the "what ifs." But too often, they try to pontificate about the next election when the current one is still unresolved. Case in point – analysts are already making predictions about how many seats each party will pick up or lose in the 2010 congressional elections or who the Republican presidential nominee will be in 2012. And yet, with pending court battles over unresolved 2008 election results in Minnesota and New York, as well as potential vacancies as governors and members of Congress move into Obama Administration appointments, does anyone have an actual count of the makeup of the current 111th Congress? The 2008 election ain't over, folks.
Bernadette Budde of BIPAC recently wrote a great article on election "time travel." It is well worth reading for political junkies who are already coloring congressional districts red and blue for 2010 and beyond.