Last year, as we approached the inauguration, I made a series of predictions in a blog called Closing one book, opening a new one. Feel free to read it first if you like. With just a touch of hubris, let’s look back and see how I did:
1) If it is a success, it will be because Obama made it happen! (see Iraq, bailout, war on terror)
2) If it all goes to hell, it will be Bush’s fault (see Iraq, bailout, war on terror)
These are obviously tied together. I’m calling both of these correct. We have certainly seen both of these in the past year. Granted, they were a little bit vague and general, and something most politicians do, but hey, what did you pay to get in here?!? So far, 2 for 2!
3) Obama will place an executive order banning offshore drilling (a requisite rise in oil prices will ensue, which will be Bush’s fault)
4) Congress, taking their lead from Obama, will also renew the ban on offshore drilling (a further rise in oil prices will ensue, which will also be Bush’s fault)
Again, these are clearly tied together. Congress in fact did not renew the offshore drilling ban. That one is clearly wrong. The other one is a little fuzzy. Obama did not use an executive order to ban drilling, but they have used other governmental forces to block drilling. This article from the Washington Times, details the Obama administration’s efforts to stop drilling plans left over from the Bush administration. The article was written the second week of February in ’09. That week, oil hit is lowest price per barrel for the year. This chart shows the dramatic rise in oil prices beginning that very week!!! I’m calling this one correct. That makes me 3 for 4!
5) We hear the name Blagojevich for at least the next two years.
6) We don’t hear the name Biden until his son runs for Senate in 2010.
Again, I’ll take these together. In the past year, the name Blagojevich has been everywhere (except the courtroom!) The former Illinois Governor’s wife was even on a reality TV show (the court prevented Rod from doing it himself). Rod will be on The Celebrity Apprentice this year. Since the prediction is only half over, I’m not sure it’s fair to call it correct yet, but it’s my blog so yes it’s correct! In contrast, Joe Biden is the second most powerful man in the country. He hasn’t been on any reality shows but he has been in the news quite a bit. His son is not going to run for the Senate seat after all so I guess I have to call this one wrong. So now I’m 4 for 6. Next. . .
7) Obama will get his economic stimulus package through Congress featuring billions in tax “cuts” which don’t actually cut anyone’s taxes. (You can’t cut taxes for someone who doesn’t pay taxes)
He did get the stimulus package passed – it didn’t cut any taxes. It did include a reduction in the amount of tax taken out of your paycheck, but most of us will still have to pay it at the end of the year. This is dead on! 5 for 7!
8) Obama has made it clear that he favors a playoff system for the NCAA Football Championship. After many hours working with NCAA officials and network TV execs, and millions of taxpayer dollars spent, a much more complicated and less effective system of crowning a champion will be established, or. . .nothing will change.
9) Either way, the Gators will still win the National Championship!!!
Obama had a busy year so obviously this pesky football thing slipped through the cracks. No attempt was made to change the BCS. As for #9. . .well, in the immortal words of Don Adams, “Missed it by that much!” Despite playing out the regular season undefeated, they lost in the SEC Championship to the eventual National Champions, the Alabama Crimson Tide. (Congratulations by the way!) Both of these are clearly wrong. 5 for 9.
10) And the number 10 prediction for Obama’s Presidency is (drum roll please. . .wait. . .I did this backwards. . .ah screw it!) Middle East Tension!!!!
Well duh! That was a gimme. There hasn’t been a year without middle east tension since Jesus walked the earth. (Maybe they’re inexorably linked!) So 6 for 10, that’s better than half and I’ll take it. What are my predictions for this year? I’ll keep it simple – more unemployment, Republicans take over the House and Senate, more tea parties, and yes:
More Middle East Tension!!!
See you next year!
Editor’s Note: The day after I wrote this, it was reported that the President indeed does intend to investigate the NCAA for anti-trust violations due to their BCS Championship. Although the outcome is clearly not decided yet, if it turns out like everything else the President has done, I’m a shew-in! I’m changing the count to a slightly more respectable 7-10!