Monday | December 30, 2002
As we measure the remains of 2002 in hours, it's time to look forward. Here's your chance to make predictions on the coming year.
Presidential politics: Cheney will stay on as VP. The Democratic field will be whittled down to Kerry, Dean, Lieberman, Graham, and a mystery candidate that has yet to emerge. Sharpton will stick around to get in the debates, but won't really compete outside of NY. The initial culling will not come from any elections, but from the all-important money war.
Iraq: I'm probably wrong about this one, but I'm still not seeing a solid logistics line to Iraq. A massive invasion would require a fat supply line, and none of the neighbors seem to be providing it. So, I'll go on a limb and say no large scale military action against Iraq. Bombings will continue (as they have for the past 12 years), and perhaps we might see special forces take Iraq's oil fields. But as far as an all-out push through to Baghdad, I'm not seeing it.
North Korea: The US will keep downplaying this more legitimate threat, but ultimately, that may be for the best. It will allow Powell to engage in diplomacy, rather than counterproductive saber-rattling. And, eventually, the North Koreans will be bought off -- but they will have to exact a bigger price for any aid -- the immediate dismantling of their nuclear plant.
War on terror: several high-ranking Al Qaeda lieutenants will be captured, one or two will probably be covertly assasinated by the CIA, but OBL will remain at large. Bush won't mention his name, not even during the State of the Union address. The Democratic response better include the words "Osama Bin Laden" in it.
Anger over Guantanamo Bay will continue to rise, and expect a trickle of prisioners to be released. But otherwise, not much will change there while this administration is around, and that's all of 2003.
Elections: Democrats keep the governorships in Mississippi and Kentucky. The GOP keeps its governorship in Louisiana. There will be a sort of "status quo" quiet before the 2004 storm. However, the battles will be hard-fought, with spending records shattered by the parties in an effort to gain "momentum" heading into 2004.
Trent Lott: I'm probably wrong about this as well, but I still think Lott will resign. He may do so just before the November election, with an announcement earlier in the year to give his party the chance to mobilize a suitable candidate.
The economy: I'm not rooting against the economy. Indeed, the worst it gets, the more precarious my job becomes. But, it's clear it's not going anywhere. Most anyone who can refinance has already done so, and the spending that lower interest rates spurred will peter out. I can't (don't want to) imagine a collapse in consumer spending, but layoffs will continue unabated, as will the unearthing of more corporate shenanigans.
Oh, and not a single "corporate malfeaser" will see the inside of a jail cell.Posted December 30, 2002 08:33 AM | Comments (88)