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Richard Roeper Blog

Gloomy winter forecast looking silly

Didn’t see a man who danced with his wife in Chicago over the weekend, but I did see a man and a couple of women who ran in their shorts.

In January.

From the Sun-Times of Oct. 5, 2011: “Enjoy the nice weather while you can. Winter’s going to clobber Chicago again, hitting us with colder than normal temperatures and nearly twice the normal amount of snowfall. That’s according to long-range forecasters at AccuWeather.com.”

Ahem.

“AccuWeather forecasts 50 to 58 inches of snow for Chicago . . . snowfall during a normal winter is 30.2 inches. And temperatures will be 2 to 3 degrees below normal.”

Long-range meteorologist Josh Nagelberg said, “People in Chicago are going to want to move after this winter.”

Revised report: If you wanted to get your car washed last Saturday, the line formed way back there. If you wanted to take down the Christmas decorations, you could have done so in a light jacket without having to dash inside for hot chocolate breaks. I saw a guy driving his convertible with the top down Sunday on Dearborn Street.

We’re supposed to reach a high of 52 on Tuesday. There have been Opening Days at Wrigley and U.S. Cellular Field when the fans would have poured out a full beer in exchange for that kind of warmth.

Of course, there’s still a whole lot of winter to come, and we may yet get hit with some paralyzing snowfalls and some freeze-your-face cold. But still. If the 2012 political forecasters were as far off as the 2012 weather experts were, Jon Huntsman would be taking a victory lap by now.

The Newt and nothing but the Newt

Regardless of how you feel about Newt Gingrich’s politics, his blunt style is a welcome respite from the usual tap-dancing.

Last week on “The Early Show” on CBS, Norah O’Donnell said to Gingrich, “You said of Mitt Romney, ‘Someone who will lie to you to get to be president will lie to you when they get to be president.’ I have to ask you, are you calling Mitt Romney a liar?”

At this point, many a candidate would hedge and start talking in generalities.

What Newt said: “Yes.”

O’Donnell: “You’re calling Mitt Romney a liar?”

Gingrich: “Well, you seem shocked by it.”

CBS’ Bob Schieffer and O’Donnell seemed stunned when Gingrich said he would still support Mitt in a run against Barack Obama.

Why would that be surprising? This happens every primary. The candidates tear each other apart — and then the also-rans join the winner onstage at the convention and on the campaign trail, talking about how great he’d be for the country. Of course Gingrich would support a Republican candidate, even one he called a liar, in the general election. That’s how it works.

Inside out

At the Republican debate in New Hampshire on Sunday, Gingrich again called out Romney after the Mittster said, “I happen to believe that if we want to replace a lifetime politician like Barack Obama . . . we’ve got to choose someone who is not a lifetime politician, who has not spent his entire career in Washington.”

Gingrich: “Can we drop a little bit of the pious baloney? You were running for president while you were governor.”

Zing.

Like a hundred other insiders before him, Romney is trying to paint himself as an outsider, but the suit doesn’t fit. True, he is not a “lifetime politician.” But he is the son of the former governor of Michigan and he’s been active in politics since the early 1990s, when he ran for the U.S. Senate and lost. Romney’s a former governor and he ran for the 2008 GOP presidential nod — and as soon as he was out, he pretty much started running for the 2012 nomination.

Romney might not be a Washington insider or a lifetime office-holder, but he’s about as much of a political creature through and through as . . . well, everyone else who’s still in the race.

 
 
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