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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
- 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
- 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.
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