This 2012 Prediction About Who Would be US President After Obama Made me Laugh Out Loud

By Matt Novak on at

There were a lot of incorrect predictions before the 2016 presidential election. A lot of incorrect predictions. Savvy political insiders told us again and again that there was no way Donald Trump was going to become president. But I think I may have found the funniest prediction of them all.

This prediction comes from the book Celebrity Society by Robert van Krieken. Published in 2012, President Obama hadn’t even won re-election yet, but the author insisted that the next president after Obama would be a certain kind of person. Namely, a political insider with a relatively low-key celebrity profile.

The author makes this prediction on the idea that voters swing back and forth between low-key political insiders like Jimmy Carter and high-profile outsiders like Ronald Reagan. Yes, Reagan was governor of California before he became president. But you get the general idea: He started out as a celebrity.

There’s even a chart:

And based on this matrix, the author lands on the idea that the next president will be a Type I (emphasis mine):

There is likely to be a tendency to swing between the different positions, suggests van Zoonen, with the negative aspects of one being compensated for by the other, and then the same in reverse. So John Major was the antidote to Margaret Thatcher, and van Zoonen predicted in 2005 that Schwarzenegger’s replacement as Governor of California was likely to be a Type I figure. Indeed, as it turned out, Jerry Brown clearly fits that categorisation: having already served as governor between 1975 and 1983, being now the oldest serving governor in California and the United States, attempting and failing to be nominated as the Democratic presidential candidate in 1976, 1980 and 1992. It is said he once dated Linda Ronstadt. If there is a pendulum tendency, between Type I and II positions, with the occasional intrusion of a Type IV, then one would predict that the next president after Barack Obama is likely to be a Type I, an insider with a relatively low-key celebrity profile. It would also suggest that the strength of Type IV forces within the Republican Party are making Obama’s second term more likely than not.

Amazing. Simply amazing. So much for that theory, right? I mean, I wouldn’t describe President Donald Trump as a low-key political insider, would you?

Predictions are hard, as we’ve seen demonstrated time and time again on the Paleofuture blog. But this one might take the cake. This is legendary levels of wrongness. Absolutely legendary.

Featured image: Pete Souza/Getty Images