Year-end pundit atonement: Where I was wrong 2011

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

Folks like me write and say a lot of things in columns, blog posts, TV hits, and tweets. Some of our assertions are false, and many of our predictions are wrong. Last year I tried to kindle a blogger tradition of an annual confession of sorts: The worst instances of my error over the past year. For 2010, I listed my three worst errors/bad predictions. This year, I'm going with one serious lapse in fact-checking standards, and one prediction that looks like it will be proven very wrong next week.

Paul Krugman didn't really lament the lack of earthquake damage. We had an earthquake. I made a good joke on Twitter grounded in the odd Keynesian notions of New York Times hate columnist Paul Krugman: "Krugman says it wasn't big enough." Then someone who had made a hoax Krugman account on Google Plus made it look like Krugman was actually extolling the virtues of earthquake damage. I then tweeted that Krugman seriously was saying it wasn't big enough. Dave Weigel rightly smacked me on this one. I apologized at the time. It was embarassing.

I overestimated Rick Perry. Something about Perry -- his ability to raise money, his record at winning statewide in a big state, his hair -- made me instantly treat him as a top-tier candidate before he proved himself. I repeatedly said that he and Romney were equals. On the McLaughlin Group taped in August, just days after Perry entered the race, I said Perry would win Iowa, get Michele Bachmann's endorsement, and then go into a long one-on-one with Romney. (Here's the clip, with my prediction at the 26 minute mark).

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