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Bill Mann

Bill Mann

Posted: October 11, 2010 02:43 PM


Jerry Brown is likely to beat Meg Whitman, and Harry Reid will almost certainly be re-elected to the Senate. And the Tea Party will soon take over the Republican Party.

Want to know how the Democrats -- and Tea Party candidates -- are likely to do in the midterm elections?

There's no one better to ask than former San Francisco Mayor and longtime California State Assembly Speaker Willie Brown. Brown's not only an experienced politician, he's also a widely respected political analyst and prognosticator. Brown, who now writes a column in the San Francisco Chronicle and worked on MSNBC's political coverage as an analyst, has a shrewd, insider's view of politics few can match -- certainly not on cable. He calls 'em as he sees 'em -- without regard to political party.

Brown recently sat down with MarketWatch's Jonathan Burton in San Francisco for a rare extended interview (which you can see here in its entireity) and talked about about the upcoming November elections.

Politics is serious business to Brown, whose predictions and political insights I've covered in Bay Area dailies for years. And the long-time powerful political pro is right more often than just about anyone. Some of Brown's predictions and insights in the MarketWatch interview:

--On the Tea Party: "It's not reversible. They WILL be the face, ultimately, of the Republican Party. That may or may not translate into success. If the Tea Party can unburden itself of some of its positions -- like opposing abortion and a few others -- it could become an attractive alternative to the Democrats. It will be obvious after these elections that the Tea Party has become a major force in the GOP."

--On the upcoming Florida Senate race: "Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio should win that seat because Crist and Meeks will cancel each other out. Rubio could not win without the Democratic vote being split."

--On Harry Reid's Senate race in Nevada: "Harry Reid must have been saying a lot of prayers to get an opponent as weak as Sharron Angle. He will do extremely well."

--On Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet's chances against Tea Party wingnut Ken Buck in Colorado: "Bennett should do all right because the Tea Party guy is so strange."

--On Tea Party/Jon Stewart favorite Christine O'Donnell's chances in Delaware's Senate Race: "I would be very surprised if she managed to win."

--On Democratic Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal's chances in Connecticut: "I'd also be surprised if Blumenthal ended up losing to that woman from the wrestling operation."

Brown, who is nothing if not forthright, said of California billionaire/ gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman: "If she's only even in the polls after spending over $130 million, it's Jerry Brown's race to lose. Brown has the political connections in the legislature needed to govern. She doesn't. Plus, he's only spent the cost of a bus ticket from Oakland to L.A."

--Brown on President Obama getting health care passed: "It was a mind-boggling achievement."

--Brown on GOP wresting away control of the Senate and the House: "I think the Democrats won't lose 39 House seats and control. As far as them losing the Senate? That ain't gonna happen. The Democrats will do better than expected."

--On President Obama's potential GOP foes in 2012: "There's no one on the Republican side now who can beat him one-on-one."

--On what the President should do if Democrats keep control of both houses: "Begin steamrolling through all the programs he promised. I have never in my political life experienced anything like what the Republicans have done, opposing everything."

 

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