Politics & Policy

2012 Predictions

It’s crystal-ball time.

Each year, we gather the brave to put their byline on predictions for the new year. Here are the 2012 prognosticators.


Barack Obama will lose the U.S. presidential election in November. The GOP will win a record share of the non-Hispanic white vote.

Vladimir Putin will win the Russian presidential election in March. Among opposition parties, the Communists will poll exceptionally well.

The following things will get worse: public protests in advanced countries, inflation, weather, unemployment, Somali piracy, and the state finances of California, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York.

#ad#The following things will get better: e-book formats, firearm sales, political corruption, access to TV programs without TV sets, job opportunities for auditors, Islamic terrorism, North Dakota.

The following things will become less popular in the advanced world: free trade, mass immigration, welfare, foreign aid, abortion, college education, ethnic diversity, politicians, helping the U.S. fight open-ended wars of choice.

The following things will become more popular in the advanced world: in-sourcing, border controls, jails, family life, vocational training, ethnic disaggregation, entrepreneurs, minding your own national business.

One or more of the following canoes will arrive at the lip of Niagara: the euro, the North Korean government, the finances of a major U.S. state or municipality, the student-loan system, Eric Holder, book publishing, China’s banking system.

— John Derbyshire is the author of Unknown Quantity: A Real And Imaginary History of Algebra.


A non-white male or a non-male white will be the Republican vice-presidential nominee.

The U.S. Senate will be split 50–50 between the parties.

The Occupy Wall Street movement will become an even more obvious joke and a major liability for Democrats, particularly when it grows violent at the political conventions. The MSM will pretend it was agnostic on the movement all along.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will publicly lose a major power struggle.

Iraq will degenerate to the point where the “Who lost Iraq?” debate will be a major liability for the White House.

After the elections, George Stephanopoulos will let it be known he’ll stop hosting ABC’s This Week, making way for Jake Tapper.

Donald Trump will not run for president.

Joe Biden will eat an entire brick of cheese on C-SPAN. “This is a big f****** deal,” he’ll explain while chewing with his mouth open.

National Review’s Jonah Goldberg is the author of Liberal Fascism.


Mitt Romney will be the GOP nominee, and Marco Rubio the nominee for vice president. The Romney-Rubio ticket will win handily, an outcome made very easy to predict on election night when Pennsylvania goes Republican by a wide margin.

The House GOP majority will expand by a few seats, but the Senate GOP will pick up Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana, and one additional “surprise” seat while losing none. Scott Brown will win handily in Massachusetts.

Act of Valor will be the surprise blockbuster movie of the year, and when it opens on President’s Day weekend, the SEALs and other special forces will find themselves with a decade’s worth of recruits.

There will be a struggle between John Boehner and Eric Cantor for the speakership in late November.

Megyn Kelly will move into prime time, and The Five will re-air sometime in the evening when people can watch. Bob Beckel will be the man GOP-convention goers in Tampa Bay most love to hate.

Vince Flynn’s Mitch Rapp returns in early 2012 with the best-selling thriller of the year.

In an astonishing year of sports surprises, the Cleveland Indians’ rotation of Jimenez, Masterson, Tomlin, Carmona, and Lowe will lead the Tribe to the World Series the city has lacked since 1948. The Colt McCoy–led Browns will use draft picks Trent Richardson and Michael Floyd to make it to the team’s first-ever Super Bowl, and Urban Meyer will open the greatest era in Ohio State football with a perfect season, back-to-back 21-point wins over Michigan, and a national championship.

Oh, and the California housing market will boom.

— Hugh Hewitt is the host of the nationally syndicated Hugh Hewitt Show.



November will be “historic.”

LDS will trend on Twitter, confusing LSD #OWS-ers.

Jon Bon Jovi will open a “Heaven Looks a Lot Like New Jersey” diner chain — in the Garden State, of course.

Jonah Goldberg will have another New York Times bestseller.

Sarah Palin will make a Republican Convention return in Tampa.

Republicans will win the Senate.

Newsweek will have a “Death of Conservatism” cover. Someone will. Someone always does.

Fr. Robert Barron, whose TV series Catholicism was on PBS this past year, will inspire a media revolution.

Kathryn Jean Lopez is editor-at-large of National Review Online.


The White House will spin that whatever goes right will be because of the strong leadership of President Obama — and whatever goes wrong will still be former president George W. Bush’s fault. This is a perennial.

Justin Bieber’s voice will break, and all heck will break loose.

There will be a Kardashian wedding — and nobody will care.

Social media will become unfashionable as people start realizing how mind-numbing it’s become.

Dierks Bentley’s “Home” will get an award at the Country Music Awards.

I will learn to ride the subway in NYC. (This is not a prediction — it’s a resolution!)

Dana Perino is a former White House press secretary and co-host of the Fox News Channel’s The Five.


Let’s start with a prediction that will make me as miserable as it might make you mad: Barack Obama will win thoroughly undeserved reelection, because none of the possible GOP candidates has what it takes (politically) to beat him. The Republicans should, however, hang on to the House and grab hold of the Senate. They will not, however, achieve the latter if the GOP’s presidential nominee is someone whom a large number of voters will go out of their way to vote against. My second prediction is that most NRO readers will know to whom it is that I am referring.

Turning now to taxation, no serious progress will be made in the direction of replacing the current federal tax system with one that is simpler, flatter, friendlier to thrift, and more equitably balanced between taxation on income and taxation on consumption. Too many taboos (on both left and right) stand in the way, reinforced by legions of legislators with tax loopholes to sell.

So far as unemployment is concerned, the picture will continue to be dismal. Any improvements in the headline numbers will have to be seen in the context of the long-term decline of the percentage of Americans holding jobs, a decline that will continue to be of little apparent concern to those (such as advocates of mass immigration) who continue to hymn the benefits of a rising population.

And abroad? Well, the euro will stagger on for at least another year, because, faced with the choice between accepting the single currency’s implosion and turning on the printing presses, Angela Merkel will opt for the latter. That transfusion should do the trick — for a while. Those hoping or fearing that next year will be the euro’s last should keep an eye out for (1) a major Greek bank run that sets off a chain reaction elsewhere, and/or (2) major social disorder or a voter revolt in a country or countries due to sign up for Merkozy’s “euro-plus” agreement. Speaking of which, the upcoming French presidential election will be worth watching. David Cameron will likely still be in office on Dec. 31, 2012. Nicolas Sarkozy might well not be.

Elsewhere, expect an Argentine economic crisis (complete with saber-rattling over the Falklands), and brace yourselves for growing but “completely unexpected” Islamist success in many of the lands of the Arab Spring. The Israelis and Palestinians will come no nearer to genuine peace, but Iran will come even closer to nuclear weapons. Putin will become president of Russia (again), but his predecessor, Dmitry Medvedev, will not last long in his old job of prime minister.

Regardless of Mayan math, 2012 is unlikely to be the year of apocalypse, and Planet X will not come calling: On balance this may be a good thing.

— Andrew Stuttaford is a longtime National Review writer in New York.

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