Read Managing Editor Charles D. Ellison’s full 2012 Political Tea Leaves here at UPTOWN Magazine as part of a special weekly partnership with Politic365
Top of the New Year week before a presidential election cycle is just as important for its political predictions as it is for hangover stories, way-too-soon post-holiday commutes and hit-the-gym weight loss resolutions. It’s that time of the year when pundits, arm chair experts and political writers go on full blast with endless speculation about what the year might bring in politics – it’s a favorite American past time as cherished as a World Series and Super Bowl, as hated as our deepest and darkest embarrassments. But, it is confirmation that politics is our great national sport.
Without doubt, 2012 will be a year to remember – it’s already been made into a movie. What the Mayan calendar may have meant is that 2012 fundamentally reshapes the world and simply transforms society as we know it. Many political observers, across the board, seem to agree that major, landscape shifting changes will take place in 2012. The challenge is in pinpointing the exact event, the players, the timing and the nature of that event. No one – that we know of – can really predict the future. But, that doesn’t keep the poll-watchers and political junkies from trying.
“Romney gets the GOP Nomination but creates a civil war within the GOP. Rick Perry becomes the Tea Party Candidate for President and picks Donald Trump for running mate and becomes the NEW Ross Perot,” quips L. Martin Pratt, a popular social media personality and editor for Rolling Out Magazine.
“Ron Paul finally admits he was a racist and goes to Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church for forgiveness. President Obama Father Day speech is designed to bring more Black men out to the Polls. And, twelve more states try to push through Voter ID laws including PA.”
The specific events vary, but the theme is fairly consistent, with consensus among observers that Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee for 2012 and will most certainly take on the incumbent President Obama in what will be a political cage match for the ages. But, that’s pretty much conventional wisdom these days, with few unwilling to take that dare and predict President Obama will get a second term. However, Tim Farley, Executive Producer and Programming Director for Sirius/XM satellite radio’s all day politics channel POTUS (Politics of the United States), takes that leap.
“President Obama wins a 2nd term, defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney,” is Farley on confidence. But, beyond the Presidential election, there are other issues and countless players. “Elizabeth Warren defeats Sen. Scott Brown, returning the former Sen. Ted Kennedy seat to Democrats,” observes Farley, who sees the Massachusetts Senate race as one of the most fun-to-watch of the year. Yet, even though Warren might win it “Republicans gain control of the Senate and maintain their House Majority while losing seats.”
Farley, like many others in the political universe, starts focusing on what the Supreme Court will be doing in 2012. “Supreme Court Justice Ginsberg will step down and Pres Obama gets to appoint his third SCOTUS justice.” That’s a tough political spot for any president to be in – in the middle of an election and what will more than likely be a contentious SCOTUS nomination process. Even tougher for the President: “The Supreme Court rules that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care act mandate is unconstitutional.”
Conservative commentator, national radio personality and cable pundit Guy Benson is hoping for the Obama Administration’s demise in 2012 – but, he predicts some interesting developments on the right. “Ron Paul’s success in Iowa sparks a panic among national Republicans, perhaps leading the party faithful to finally coalesce around one person,” predicts Benson, adding a surprising twist: “Rick Perry’s name re-enters the discussion as the possible GOP nominee.”
Still, “Barack Obama’s campaign will be brutally negative — focusing on class warfare and the flaws of his challenger,” says Benson. “Eric Holder will either resign or announce his intention to leave the administration … as the Fast & Furious scandal continues to build.” We hear a similar sentiment in later predictions.
Political science professor Marvin King sees the GOP nomination battle being a bruising hot mess. “The Republican presidential nominating process will drag on longer than the GOP will like, not necessarily because of new Republican nominating rules, but because the GOP has spaced out their primaries and caucuses over a longer period,” argues King. What about the others in the race? “Michelle Bachmann will be the first of the quartet of Romney, Perry, Paul and Bachmann to quit the race.”