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December 31, 2007

Twenty Predictions For 2008


2007: It was a crazy year though isn't every year? The presidential race is just as unsettled now as it was earlier this year. The media continued to concentrate much more on the latest travails of Paris, Britney and Anna Nicole than anything actually important in the world, while way too many athletes got in trouble with the law and with steroids, and way, way too many athletes suffered premature deaths.


As I predicted last year that Hillary Clinton wouldn't run for president, that Newt Gingrich would, that the Saints would win the Super Bowl and that Scooter Libby would be acquitted, perhaps I'm not the greatest authority. But regardless, here I venture some predictions as to what to expect in 2008:


- Despite a battle with Barack Obama that extends well into the spring, Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic presidential nomination, and select Bill Richardson as her running mate. Obama, though, will once again outshine the Democratic nominee with his convention speech.


- After Rudy Giuliani implodes in the early primaries and Mike Huckabee peaks way too early, the Republican race gets down to Mitt Romney and John McCain, with McCain once again meeting his waterloo in South Carolina. Upon winning the nomination, Romney picks Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl as his running mate.


- Romney's general election campaign sputters like no other GOP nominee in 30 years, and he loses the presidency to Clinton in an electoral landslide.


- Despite numerous attempts from Naderites, Ron Paul-ites, the "Unity '08" ticket and a James Dobson-led Christian protest, no viable third-party candidate emerges to affect the '08 race in any significant matter.


- The Democrats' majority in the Senate widens, thanks to multiple Republican retirements, but their majority in the House stays about the same. Al Franken loses the Democratic Senate nomination in Minnesota to Mike Ciresi, but Ciresi narrowly loses in November to incumbent Norm Coleman.


- Iraq will remain a stalemate, with small progress made in reversing sectarian violence, but no political solutions on the horizon whatsoever. U.S. troops remain in a holding pattern as well, with President Bush refusing to withdraw troops, but the Democrats not pushing especially hard for a pull-out either.


- As Bush's time in office dwindles, more and more heretofore unreported revelations of wrongdoing emerge from his administration. However, as soon as the election ends in November, a widespread Bush legacy rehabilitation effort begins throughout every organ of the conservative movement.


- The news media continues to struggle, with layoffs taking place at various major newspapers, although toward the end of the year the papers discover a significant revenue stream not previously thought of.


- Bill O'Reilly retires from Fox News, while Katie Couric steps down from the CBS Evening News anchor desk. But even after that, Fox stays #1 in cable news, while CBS stays #3 in nightly news.


- Another prominent Republican lawmaker is outed as gay but no one who had ever been named as such ever before, even by the unscrupulous of gossip bloggers.


- As 2008 ends, construction still will not have begun on the rebuilding of the I-35 Bridge in Minneapolis, much to the consternation of Gov. Tim Pawlenty, as the GOP convention gets underway.


- The Kadima government in Israel finally falls, with the Labor Party, and Ehud Barak, returning to power in new elections. Peace, as usual, remains elusive.


- The Writers Guild of America strike continues well into the spring, before a settlement is reached that grants the writers a fraction of their demands. The Directors' Guild dispute is settled before ever reaching a strike.


- "No Country For Old Men" wins the Oscar for Best Picture, although the Coen brothers lose the Best Director statue to Sidney Lumet, for "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead." Daniel Day-Lewis ("There Will Be Blood") and Ellen Page ("Juno") win in the acting categories.


- The biggest box-office hit of 2008 is "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," followed closely by "Speed Racer" and "The Dark Knight."


- The New England Patriots complete their undefeated season by winning the Super Bowl, although at least one controversial call at a crucial moment in an AFC playoff game puts the title's legitimacy in further question.


- Barry Bonds's indictment prevents his return to Major League Baseball, although 2008 will end without his case yet reaching trial.


- Despite months of protestations from management, Donovan McNabb demands a trade from the Philadelphia Eagles, who agree to send the quarterback to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for first and fourth-round draft choices. In the first year, at least, the trade works out considerably better for Minnesota than for Philadelphia.


- The hot technology product for 2008: Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) flat-screen TVs, which gain traction as a "green" alternative to LCD and plasma TVs. In mobile technology, iPhone copycats become ubiquitous.


- And two from the following list do not survive 2008: Fidel Castro, Ariel Sharon, Pervez Musharraf, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Amy Winehouse.


2007 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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