In October 2008, my friends Dave and Mary booked a hotel room in Washington, D.C., because they wanted to attend the inauguration of Barack Obama. Wait, you say, the election was in November. Did they have inside information? Not really. Not anymore than the rest of us had at that time. We laughed about it at the time, actually. I told them that was a safe bet. You see, I pride myself on my political prognosticating. I’ve always had a knack for picking elections. I remember back in the early ’90s when Carol Moseley Braun was running for U.S. senate in Illinois. I was the only one in the newsroom at the time who predicted she would unseat the longtime incumbent and also beat out a multi-millionaire whose new, expensive hobby was politics. On election night, I recall some of my co-workers saying, “Man, I thought you were crazy. But she won!” I knew those other two politicians would split the vote, and Braun, the first black woman to be elected countywide in Illinois’ Cook County, would benefit. It was just math.