The Oscars, Obama And The Golden Globes: Predicting The Presidency By Stacking Up Award Show Results
This just in: President Obama will be re-elected president in 2012.
At least, that's what the newly discovered Academy Awards/Golden Globes Rule suggests.
With only two exceptions over the past 50 years, a Democrat has won the White House when the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture (Drama) and the Oscar for Best Picture have not gone to the same film. When the same picture takes both honors, a Republican wins.
This year, "The Descendants" won Best Motion Picture (Drama) at the Globes, and "The Artist" won Oscar's Best Picture. (Full disclosure: "The Artist" also won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical).)
CNN's OutFront blog spotted the pattern (and yes, even they float the question of whether or not they have too much time on their hands), and the details are pretty intriguing. Of the two times the rule failed to hold true, one can be somewhat easily explained away:
In 1976, when "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" won both awards, things went crazy, and Gerald Ford failed to win.
But as Ford was never actually elected as president or vice president in the first place, there is an argument to be made he was never a true incumbent.
The other, CNN notes, was when the filmic adaptation of Steinbeck's "East of Eden" won the Golden Globe but failed to capture the Oscar. Steinbeck himself was fiercely political and published a long memo outlining a plan that he hoped would keep Eisenhower from a second term.
Every other election cycle, the award shows have "predicted" the party of the next president. Reagan won his second term the year that "Terms of Endearment" won both honors, and Bill Clinton won in 1996 when "Braveheart" and "Sense and Sensibility" split the statuettes.
This news, if you can call it that, comes amid signs that Hollywood isn't as Obama-mad as it used to be. Four years after the likes of Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney and Halle Berry effusively praised the "Yes We Can" candidate, the relationship appears to have cooled considerably.
Stars including Matt Damon have sharply criticized the president, and early returns indicate that donations to Democrats from those in the industry are millions lower than they were at this point last election cycle.
What do you make of this little prediction game? It's hokey, to be sure. But then again, stranger predictions have come true.
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