Curt Smith: Some daring predictions for 2008

Curt Smith, columnist

Two years ago I prophesied CNN’s Lou Dobbs as 2006 Person of the Year. Score one for the home team.  Last year this space named General Motors America’s up-and-coming auto firm.  Actually, its jobs up and went to Japan.

“It’s dangerous to make predictions,” Yogi Berra said, “especially about the future.”  A columnist doesn’t, can’t care.  Below, new year, new guesses. Gentle reader, as Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer said, “make a note.”

1) I was the first columnist urging Eliot Spitzer to resign. Instead, New York’s governor will:  (a) confess to Troopergate; (b) stonewall and survive; (c) be impeached. Answer: (c). Say it ain’t so, woe.

2) The 2008 Buffalo Bills will:  (a) win the Super Bowl; (b) end at .500; (c) dust the cellar.  Answer:  (b).  Clearly, eight (straight sans playoff years) is not enough.

3) The Democratic presidential candidate will be:  (a) Bill Clinton, ignoring the 22nd Amendment; (b) Al Gore, scoring global warming; (c) Hillary Clinton, needing warming.  Answer: (c).

4) Barack Obama will be: (a) aided by a fawning press; (b) politics’ Wordsworth; (c) a liberal disguised as moderate. Answer:  (d) all of the above.

5) A January poll reveals the leading Republican candidate: (a) Mitt Romney; (b) Mike Huckabee; (c) Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Fred Thompson, or Ron Paul.  Answer:  (d) “none of the above."

6) Britney Spears will: (a) do a remake of "Dirty Dancing";  (b) find inner peace in Scientology; (c) continue baring how motherhood is not for everyone. Answer:  (c).

7) Biggest Surprise:  (a) Led by Cadillac, G.M. rebounds; (b) Romney connects with a middle-class voter; (c) average hours watching TV decline.  Answer: (a).   

8) “Curiouser” and “curiouser”:  (a) Democrats take the New York State Senate; (b)  Upstate reverses a population decline; (c) the Red Sox forge a dynasty. Answer: (c) third post-2003 title for the ex-Katzenjammer Kids.

9) A shocking March poll shows a new Republican leader:  (a) Bob Dole; (d) Newt Gingrich; (c) Spiro Agnew. Answer: (c) Aptly, Agnew is dead, like the establishment GOP.

10) At Jenna Bush’s marriage, she and sister Barbara: (a) compare underage drinking; (b) recite their R-rated 2004 GOP Convention doggerel; (c) Google “Julie and Tricia Nixon” to find daughters of whom a parent would be proud. Answer:  (a).

11) June’s headliner is:  (a) Dick Cheney, found alive; (b) Nancy Pelosi, outed as a GOP mole; (c) Republicans, trying to postpone their convention till 2009. Answer:  (b).

12) Forced to nominate a living person, Republicans try to draft: (a) Dan Quayle; (b) Jack Kemp; (c) Ross Perot.  Answer: (b)

13) Lincoln spoke of “fourscore.” Kemp refuses to limit his acceptance speech to four hours. Irate GOPers turn to:  (a) Huckabee, the next Billy Graham; (b) Giuliani, baseball’s next commissioner; (c) Thompson, next stop "Law and Order." Answer: (d) a Reagan (Ron), hoping he will be mistaken for his dad.

14) Football coach Greg Robinson ends his fourth year at Syracuse by singing:  (a) California Dreamin';  (b) Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen; (c) A New York State of Mind. Answer:  (a), returning westward.

15) Value-challenged Democrats will: (a) claim economics matter more; (b) caress their secular base; (c) publicly hail the Silent Majority while privately bashing it. Answer:  (d) all.

16) At the convention, W.’s popularity south of Capetown, he speaks at: (a) cocktail hour; (b) prime time; (c) 3:30 a.m., opposite a Victoria Principal infomercial and TV Land’s "Gunsmoke."  Answer: (c). Marshall Dillon dry-gulches him.

17) A backlash builds against:  (a) Joe Torre’s firing; (b) Chinese imported goods; (c) groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, hating Christianity’s place in the public square. Answer: (c)

18) 2008 Pariah of the Year: (a) TV sponsors, making prime time a swamp; (b) Bush, trashing border security; (c), big business, preferring globalization to U.S. sovereignty.  Answer: (d) all.

19) 2008 Person of the Year:  (a) George Mitchell, forcing Congress to confront sports steroids; (b) America’s yet-to-be-named president; (c) the voter, brooking an interminable campaign. Answer:  (b).

20) Adding insult to immigration injury, W. will: (a) make Spanish his official language; (b) name Alberto Gonzales ambassador to Mexico; (c) pardon drug dealers, not border patrolmen. Answer: (c) At this point, why change?

A new year now begins: grand returns, I hope, to follow. Happy 2008.

Curt Smith is a former presidential speechwriter; author of 12 books; and host of WXXI Radio’s syndicated "Perspectives," at 2 p.m. Saturday and 11 p.m. Tuesday. His views don’t necessarily reflect the station’s. Smith writes twice monthly for GateHouse's Messenger Post Media. E-mail: