Politics & Policy

Predictions 2008

What may come.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Another year, more predictions. Every year some brave souls here at National Review Online look into their crystal balls and see what they see for the upcoming year. Enjoy their self-sacrifice. And Happy New Year!

Myrna Blyth

There will be worse pictures of Hillary than the one Drudge highlighted.

When Edwards packs it in, he will throw his support to Obama.

Miley Cyrus will not get pregnant. At least not next year. Subsequently she will not get a big payday from OK! or her very own Hannah Montana sex and love special.

And now that waterboarding is off-limits, interrogators will use non-stop showings of There Will Be Blood. Yes, I know, the critics love it, but it really is torture.

– Myrna Blyth is co-author of How to Raise an American.

Jonah Goldberg

For the first time in years, my end-of-year prediction success rate will break .500.

Mike Huckabee, after failing to win the GOP nomination, will launch a new television show, becoming a mixture of Pat Robertson, Dr. Phil, and Joel Osteen. Comparisons to A Face in the Crowd will appear in the Sunday New York Times nearly every week.

The shortlist to replace Christopher DeMuth as the president of the American Enterprise Institute will include: Steven Hayward, Tevi Troy, Paul Gigot, and James Glassman.

Fred Thompson will be the GOP’s vice-presidential nominee.

America will not bomb Iran.

Another prominent Republican will be revealed to be gay. He will respond, in effect, that it depends on the meaning of “gay.”

Mark Steyn will not spend one day in a Canadian jail.

No Country for Old Men will win the Best Picture Oscar®.

Rupert Murdoch’s purchase of the Wall Street Journal brings about fewer changes than many feared. His business channel is dubbed “Business Baywatch” by the pundits, starting with yours truly.

YouPorn (the YouTube of Porn) is involved in a political scandal when a disgruntled lover/subordinate posts a home video of his/her boss. It will be this — and not the inevitable posting of kiddie porn — that prompts Congress to shut down the site and launch an all-out war on web porn.

Maureen Dowd will become readable again because she can write about what she knows, bitchy liberal gossip and backbiting.

The New York Times “Week-in-Review” section will become worth reading, thanks to Sam Tanenhaus. The oped page, Brooks and Dowd excepted, will continue to bravely defy consumer demands for interesting, relevant writing.

There will not be another 9/11 style attack on U.S. soil, but at least one will be thwarted as al-Qaeda proves desperate to give Bush a “goodbye present.”

Osama bin Laden will be killed. Some famous moron will proclaim that Bush “saved” Bin Laden’s death until the end to boost his “legacy.”

The surge in Iraq will be declared a victory, and Republicans will campaign on it November.

Bush will call for a NATO-led, Iraq-style, surge in Afghanistan.

David Frum’s Comeback will be widely compared to Scammon and Wattenberg’s The Real Majority as the political bible of the 2008 election.

My book, meanwhile, will generate some nasty e-mail.

– Jonah Goldberg is author of the new book, Liberal Fascism.

Victor Davis Hanson

Bill Clinton will join the Obama campaign.

Zawahiri will have to operate to save Bin Laden.

John Edwards will sell his 30,000-square-foot house to an ascendant Al Gore.

We will learn from the fading Hillary campaign that Sen. Obama actually had a fourth name — discovered in a revealing kindergarten paper — “Osama”; his real full name, according to unnamed insiders, is Barack Hussein Osama Obama.

The National Intelligence Estimate assuring us that Iran ceased work on a nuclear bomb in 2003 will be “readjusted” in light of new evidence to suggest that they started up again in December 2007 when the report was issued.

The Drudge Report will acquire the New York Times.

The DVD sales of Redacted will top 100.

– Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and author, most recently, of A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War.

Mark Hemingway

In the coming Republican administration, Mitt Romney will be secretary of the Treasury, Rudy Giuliani will be secretary of homeland security, Fred Thompson will be attorney general, Mike Huckabee will be secretary of health and human services, and John McCain will be secretary of defense — following a remarkable election where GOP voters nominate “None of the Above” as their candidate for president, who then wins in a landslide when matched up against the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.

In a desperate bid to appear warm and likable to prospective voters, Hillary Clinton will become godmother to John Edwards’s alleged love child.

Gas prices will get so high that Cheetos, rather than ethanol, will become the preferred additive.

After Oprah returns to taping her show, Barack Obama’s campaign rallies with her protege, Dr. Phil, will prove surprisingly unhelpful as he angrily lectures the audience on their political commitment issues.

After Hillary’s repeated attempts on the campaign trail to claim she was co-president during her husband’s two terms, Gennifer Flowers will run for office in Arkansas claiming to have been co-governor.

– Mark Hemingway is an NRO staff reporter.

Kathryn Jean Lopez

Whatever happens in the presidential race, by November we will all laugh at the memory that anything (or one) was ever considered “inevitable.”

Caught up in both last year’s William Wilberforce revival and his new Catholicism, Tony Blair has a change of mind and heart and wages a battle against abortion in the West.

His crusade is drowned out by the Muslim calls to prayer in Londonistan.

Hillary Clinton goes negative on Oprah.

Ever the uniter, Mike Huckabee launches a third-party bid to take back the country — and GOP — for Christ.

Appearing sober at the Grammy awards, Amy Winehouse announces she is changing her name to Dryhouse.

Hollywood writers continue to strike. No one outside Hollywood notices.

Jamie Lynn Spears finds out who the heck this Linda Ellerbee woman is.

Michael Yon gets some of the credit he deserves.

–Kathryn Jean Lopez is the editor of National Review Online.

Carrie Lukas

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will sign into law a sweeping school choice program.

Nancy Pelosi will use the phrase “…for the children…” in nearly every floor speech.

The Cubs will not win the World Series.

Running against Hillary Clinton — who will be tarnished once against by new campaign finance scandals — the House GOP will pick up a dozen seats in the House of Representatives, leaving Speaker Pelosi a greater challenge to manage an already unmanageable House.

Christina Applegate’s new show on ABC will be cancelled.

After a surge in Iowa, Fred Thompson will win the GOP nomination and then be elected the 44th President of the United States.

Carrie Lukas is vice president for policy at the Independent Women’s Forum and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex, and Feminism.

Clifford D. May

Iran will continue developing nuclear weapons — with fewer economic or diplomatic impediments thanks to the intelligence community’s decision to substitute its own policy preferences for those of the White House.

The CIA will not undergo the reform it needs in 2008. The CIA’s principal tasks are to steal secrets — and to keep secrets. It recent years it has shown little facility for either.

Al Qaeda will continue to reconstitute itself in Pakistan and use that base to wage war against Afghanistan, as well as to plan terrorist acts elsewhere. NATO forces on the ground in Afghanistan will not prove up to the task of defeating these enemy forces.

The situation in Pakistan will continue to deteriorate leaving great uncertainty about that country’s nuclear weapons and technology and the use of its territory by al-Qaeda.

Osama bin Laden will not be captured or killed in 2008.

The renewal of the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue at Annapolis will lead nowhere.

The Syrian assault on Lebanon — on Lebanese freedom and democracy — will continue.

The one bright spot in the New Year: Iraq. I predict Iraq will continue to improve and will become not the Switzerland of the Middle East but a reasonably free country, one that sides with the U.S. in the war with militant Islamism.

This will damage those who have argued for retreat and defeat in Iraq, those who slandered Gen. David Petraeus, and said the U.S. military had met its match on the mean streets of Mesopotamia. That, in turn, will lead to the restoration of the Republicans’ advantage on national security, assisting whoever is the GOP presidential candidate. As to who that will be, and whether he will win in the end, I haven’t the courage to predict.

Clifford D. May, a former New York Times foreign correspondent, is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism.

John J. Miller

Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination. Her running mate will be a retired general who is not Wesley Clark. Mitt Romney will win the GOP nomination. His running mate will be a Protestant, and either a military veteran or Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty. In a general election that comes down to a few thousand votes in Ohio, Clinton will defeat Romney. She will serve a single term that is widely viewed as unsuccessful.

Democrats will pick up three seats in the Senate, as Republicans lose in Colorado, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Virginia, and win in Louisiana.

There will be no major terrorist attacks or deadly hurricanes in the United States. Osama bin Laden will remain at large. In Cuba, Fidel Castro will breathe his last but democracy will not breathe its first. In Venezuela, Hugo Chavez’s grip on power will weaken. Nobody will bomb Iran. Led Zeppelin will announce a world tour.

At the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots will complete a perfect season by defeating the Green Bay Packers. At the Stanley Cup Finals, the Detroit Red Wings will prevail over the Ottawa senators in seven games. At the World Series, the Detroit Tigers will beat the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kirk Gibson will provide color commentary.

Jonah’s book will become a best-seller, but only after a controversial appearance on The Charlie Rose Show in which he appears shirtless. That is, Charlie Rose will appear shirtless. Jonah will wear a yellow jumpsuit and a red Devo hat.

– John J. Miller is host of NRO ’s “Between the Covers” weekly book show.

Lisa Schiffren

No matter who is nominated, (and it won’t be Huckabee), the Huckabee campaign has exposed tears in the Reagan coalition. They might be patched over, but the fabric is fraying. Serious small-government Republicans who are moderately conservative on social issues, and extremely socially conservative, religious Republicans who want bigger government are unlikely to reconcile. Each will blame the other, though neither got what they most wanted, as government is not smaller, and society not more moral than it was before the past two decades of GOP primacy.

An unsatisfactory compromise on immigration is inevitable.

Real privacy and interesting non-conformity will continue to diminish in society — and be willingly surrendered.

Regardless of what they tell pollsters, many fewer people will vote for a young African-American man than an established white woman, even if they don’t really like her. So, if Obama is the candidate, he loses big. (Unless he is running against Huckabee.)

The “surge” in Iraq will continue to work. Sooner or later everyone will accept that 7-10 years of significant U.S. military presence is the minimum for getting a new government up and stabilized, (as the military predicted while planning the war).

Afghanistan may actually get the serious attention it deserves, for the first time ever.

Our culture will continue its downward plunge. Behavior that seemed genuinely shocking when it was first presented on, say, Sex in the City, is now the subplot of everything else, including news specials and crime shows. (Swingers, internet S&M hook-ups leading to death, etc. are discussed in early prime time on major networks.) Nothing big will happen to disrupt the appalling early sexualization of young girls.

I was going to predict that the new color of the year is going to be a dark shade of purple, maybe eggplant, maybe amethyst. But the Panetone color chart people, whose dictates control the colors of your upholstery, appliances, cars, carpets and clothes, etc, have announced that it will be Iris blue. Just say no.

– Lisa Schiffren writes from New York City.

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