Michael Gaynor
Juan Williams was way too slow to recognize the Republican wave
By Michael Gaynor
November 6, 2014

The problem was President Obama's policies, obviously, Mr. Williams.

The Chicago Tribune famously ran the "Dewey Defeats Truman" headline in 1948.

Juan Williams' initial take on Election Night 2014 was similarly wrongheaded.


"Juan Antonio Williams (born April 10, 1954) is a Panamanian-born American journalist and political analyst for Fox News Channel. He also writes for several newspapers including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal and has been published in magazines such as The Atlantic Monthly and Time. He was a senior news analyst for National Public Radio (NPR) from 1999 until October 2010. At The Washington Post for 23 years, Williams has worked as an editorial writer, op-ed columnist, White House correspondent and national correspondent. He is a 'registered Democrat.'

"Williams is the author of Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965 (1987), a companion to the documentary series of the same name about the African-American Civil Rights Movement...."

After "liberal" National Public Radio repudiated Juan Williams and Fox News gave him a new $2 million three-year contract and an expanded role at their network, it seemed possible that Williams would become a more clear-eyed analyst.

Alas, as voters resoundingly rejected President Obama's policies on Election Day 2014, Williams told viewers that what was afoot was anti-incumbency, not a Republican wave.

WRONG, Mr. Williams.

It was a great night for Republican incumbents and a tremendous Republican wave that even drowned the incumbent Democrat Illinois governor for whom President Obama personally campaigned.

Eventually Williams realized that there was a wave and it was a Republican wave, not an anti-incumbency wave, but Williams was so slow to the real story that he seemed to be engaged in wishful thinking instead of objective analysis.

All of the Republican incumbent United States Senators running for reelection won.

Of the twenty-one United States Senate seats held by Democrats and contested, the Democrats definitely lost seven. two more are likely to go Republican and there probably will be a recount in Virginia, which was supposed to be a easy win for former two-term governor Mark Warner.

In the House of Representative, one seat switched from Republican to Democrat as fourteen seats switched from Democrat to Republican, for a net gain of thirteen for Republicans.

Predictions that Democrats would make significant gains in governorships proved wrong, as Republicans withstood challenges in Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida and Maine as well as won in Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts and Arkansas.

Williams' eyes stayed closed to political reality until even MSNBC read the handwriting on the wall.

Perhaps Williams could have spared himself embarrassment by consulting his son Tony, a Senate page and intern for GOP Senator Strom Thurmond from 1996 to 1997 and a speech writer and legislative correspondent for Republican Senator Norm Coleman from 2004 to 2006, before preaching the false anti-incumbency explanation.

The problem was President Obama's policies, obviously, Mr. Williams.

© Michael Gaynor


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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)


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