Wednesday, January 12, 2005
And now a review of my 2004 predictions
1) Howard Dean will win a majority of the Democratic delegates (and thus the nomination) by mid-March. Attempting to pose as a moderate, Dean will select either Indiana Governor Evan Bayh or Iowa Senator Bob Kerrey as a running mate. The Democrats' convention in Boston will be particularly rancorous, mostly behind the scenes, but with some notable exceptions, as people beholden to the Clintons struggle with Dean supporters for the reins of power.
The long rumored entry of Hillary Clinton into the race will remain just that -- a rumor.
The 2004 general election campaign will be marked by increasingly histrionic attacks by Governor Dean, and calm, aloof responses from the White House. With the economy hitting on all twelve cylinders and the war on terror going well, Bush will easily gain re-election, winning an absolute majority of votes cast and 45 states (he will lose Vermont, Oregon, Washington, California, and New York).
Well, this one was a real mixed bag. Dean's scream blew out his chances for the nomination as Democrats scrambled to nominate someone "electable" as opposed to someone with whom they passionately agreed. They settled for neither and ultimately nominated John Kerry, who, by the way, served in Vietnam.
The struggle for the soul of the Democratic party continues, with Howard Dean the current front runner for the DNC Chair. Current party insiders are now asking Terry McAuliffe to stay on until they can find someone to replace him (other than Howard Dean, it would seem).
Hillary stayed out, as I predicted, preferring to bide her time until 2008 (at which time she will likely secure the nomination, but lose the general election).
Kerry did unleash increasingly histrionic attacks on the White House, along with Michael Moore and the usual suspects. It wasn't enough.
By election time, the war on terror seemed to be going well, with some high profile captures in Iraq and no new major terrorist incidents leading up to the election. The economy, though talked down by the press, was running at or above many of the positive indicators from the "Clinton boom year" of 1998.
I was also correct in predicting Bush would win with a majority of votes cast (the first time that has been done since 1988), but he lost a few more states than I suspected. In addition to Vermont, Oregon, Washington, California, and New York, Bush lost New Jersey, Maine, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Illinois, Delaware, New Hampshire, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania (the last five by very tight margins).
2) Mullah Omar will be captured.
Argh. Unfortunately, this one was close, but still wrong. As of mid-December 2004, coalition forces were squeezing the one-eyed Mullah into a box somewhere along the Afghan-China border.
3) There will be at least four more publicized attempts on Pakistani President Musharraf's life. None will succeed.
Musharraf made the list because of two assassination attempts made on his life in late 2003 (the last was on Christmas Day, 2003). Although there have not been (to my knowledge) any attempts on Musharraf in 2004, there was one against his Prime Minister Designate.
4) Republicans will pick up at least ten U.S. House seats and five U.S. Senate seats. Tom Dashcle (D-SD) will be unseated by Republican John Thune.
Very close on this one. Republicans gained nine net seats in the house, and four net seats in the Senate. Tom Daschle ignored his constituents one time too many, and was narrowly ousted by Thune. After the presidential election, I was happiest about Daschle's loss.
5) There will be highly publicized arrests and/or civil fines for violations of the Campaign Finance Reform law.
Okay, so this didn't happen. There was a kerfluffle over Michael Moore's offering gag prizes to college students in return for promises to vote for Kerry (a violation of state law), but not much else.
6) The House will pass a Constitutional Amendment stating that no state shall have to recognize a marriage other than one between a man and a woman. The Amendment will remain stalled in the Senate until after the election.
Nope -- but eleven states passed amendments to their state constitutions banning gay marriage.
7) There will be a minor (less than 25 dead) terrorist attack in the United States. Leftist groups will claim it is in response to American unilateral and imperialist actions in Iraq.
Thankfully, I was wrong.
8) Republicans will split on a major Presidential initiative regarding illegal aliens. The measure will pass and become law, primarily due to Democrat votes.
Republicans wisely punted this issue to 2005 (and it WILL be a major issue this year).
9) Upon Bush' re-election, Sandra Day O'Connor and William Rehnquist will announce their retirement from the USSC. Conservatives will cheer as Bush nominates Antonin Scalia for Chief Justice.
Chief Justice Rehnquist has all but announced his retirement and that he has thyroid cancer.
10) The Dow Jones will close above 12,000 on Election Day. The NASDAQ will close above 2500.
Ouch. Election day, the Dow Jones closed at 10,035.73; the NASDAQ, 1984.79.
11) Saddam Hussein will be tried, found guilty, and executed by the new Iraqi government. In addition, as the new Iraqi government begins interrogating captured members of the Iraqi resistance, we will gain more intelligence information than before as the resistance members become unsure as to the amount of "persuasion" their fellow Iraqis will use to get information.
Hit and miss, here. We are getting more intelligence, particualrly after the post-eleciton assault on Fallujah; however, Saddam is still in Pre-Trial proceedings.
12) Blair will win his election.
Yuck. Blair didn't even HAVE an election .
13) Pope John Paul will die and be replaced, after much rancor, by an Italian-born Vatican bureaucrat.
Well, John Paul is alive, if frail. The leading candidate to replace him is, however, Italian.
14) Walter Cronkite will die.
Nope, he's still ticking -- although, it seems his brain departed this realm some time ago, judging by this statement.
15) The Cubs will break the curse and win the pennant.
Okay, I chose the wrong curse to be broken.
16) The Oklahoma Sooners will win the 2004 Sugar Bowl and the National Championship as Michigan pounds USC. The Sooners will be invited to return to the Championship game in 2005.
Ugh. We not only lost 2004, we lost 2005 as well. Glad I haven't made my predictions for this year yet.
17) The last American WWI veteran will die.
Nope. At least one of them made it to New Year's Day.
18) The Iranian people will, with outside help, overthrow the Mullahs. The United States will send substantial aid and renew relations with the new government.
Wrong again, though regional groups of Iranians have risen against the government a few times. Sigh. Hurry, please.
19) The French and German economies will tailspin into crisis as the over-valued Euro causes higher levels of inflation and hurts overseas sales of French and German products. The financial crisis will cause several members of the EU to significantly rethink their involvement with that organization.
Nope, the Euro is doing fine, though the eastern Europeans remain wary.
20) Colin Powell will resign as Secretary of State. He will be replaced by Condoleeza Rice.
I tagged this one. Condi will be confirmed by the Senate as the first concert pianist (and incidentally, the first black woman) to serve as Secretary of State.
Well, that about does it. I'm overdue for 2005 predictions - I should have them up in the next few days.