Here are a “baker’s dozen” predictions, fearless and/or foolhardy (and mostly all Virginia related in some way) for 2012. They are mostly by me, but they’re also based on input from other Blue Virginia “front pagers.” Feel free to add your own predictions in the comments section. Thanks, and Happy New Year!
1. The U.S. economy continues to recover, in part as Europe avoids meltdown. The unemployment rate drops below 8% by election day 2012.
2. Willard “Mitt” Romney easily wins the Republican nomination for president, as the anti-“Mitt”s fail to coalesce around one legitimate candidate (and no, Ron Paul isn’t a legitimate Republican candidate).
3. Either Ron Paul (although he’s damaged goods due to all the past racist, anti-Semitic, etc. writings) or egomaniac loony-tunes Donald Trump — or another right-wing Tea Party type — runs as a third-party candidate, in addition to Libertarian Gary Johnson, winning votes from conservatives and others on the right unhappy with flippin’-but-formerly-to-the-left-of-Ted-Kennedy, Willard “Mitt” Romney.
4. In large part because of #1-#3, Barack Obama is reelected president of the United States by a comfortable margin (3-5 percentage points), although not as big a landslide as in 2008.
5. Obama wins Virginia again, albeit by a more narrow margin than last time around, thanks to a huge margin in Northern Virginia, heavy turnout by African Americans and Latinos, and OFA’s organizing ability – but NO thanks to DPVA.
6. Mitt Romney selects Bob McDonnell as his running mate, but loses Virginia to Obama-Biden anyway.
7. A sunny, upbeat, likable, forward-looking, reality-based Tim Kaine defeats snarling, nasty, divisive, backwards-looking, science-denying George “Felix Macacawitz” Allen, 53%-47%. Allen goes back to lobbying full time (and for a ton of cash!) for the people destroying our planet and keeping us addicted to fossil fuels.
8. Democrats and Republicans end up tied for control of the U.S. Senate. Vice President Biden breaks the ties, but the Senate remains largely paralyzed as it has been for several years now (thanks to Republican abuse of the filibuster, mainly).
9. Democrats come very close, but fall just short of taking back the U.S. House of Representatives. Watch your back, John Boehner, as Eric Can’tor mounts a coup attempt for Speaker!
10. The Supreme Court does NOT rule the individual mandate as unconstitutional, although with some sort of wishy washy language that falls far short of a definitive ruling and leaves it as a live political issue. Whatever the exact decision, the Supreme Court case reminds people, in the middle of a presidential election eyar, that the mandate was originally a conservative, Republican idea (supported by Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, etc.), an alternative to “Hillarycare”‘s employer mandate. Ken Kookinelli throws a temper tantrum, ranting and raving about King George, “First Principles,” blah blah blah.
11. In part due to the DPVA’s utter dysfunction, there will be no serious Democratic candidates opposing Morgan Griffith, Robert Hurt, or Eric Can’tor.
12. Newt Gingrich is NOT on the Republican ballot in the Virginia primary, but he nonetheless manage s to (mis)use a few more absurd historical analogies (in addition to “Pearl Harbor”) to express how this is the WORST thing in the history of the world!!! LOL
13. Budget and tax battles continue all year, at the end of which, a reelected President Obama’s leverage – due to the imminent expiration of the Bush tax cuts, as well as budget cuts slated to kick in automatically – leads to a grand bargain of sorts (this may be the final straw for Boehner, or Can’tor’s “Nixon goes to China” move, which Boehner lacked the credibility with Tea Party to pull off).