As we come to the end of 2007 there have been a number of interesting developments
throughout the year that have made this year one to remember. We have seen a complete change in the situation in Iraq, much to the frustration of the Democrats, the economy has remained stable with a few bumps in the road in the
form of fluctuating energy prices and the crash of the mortgage market.
Congress has reached new lows, and deservedly so, in national approval while the President has remained in the lower range which is somewhat consistent
with any President
at this point in the second term. The Middle East is, as usual
, with the recent assassination
of former Pakistani Prime Minister Bhutto adding to the confusion.
The quest for a new President has had many twists and turns and is still up in the air for both parties. So with 2007 coming to a close, 2008 will present, as with any year a myriad
of interesting situations that will make it a year to remember as was 2007.
While I am not a professional prognosticator, nor make any claim to that type of fame there
are a few things that 2008 will bring that can receive
a certain degree of speculation that may very well hold true for the new year.
THE SUPER BOWL - While most of this post will deal with politics and issues I wanted to start on a little lighter note for what looks to be a rather obvious out come for the highlight of the sports world. The New England Patriots have completed the first 16 - 0 NFL season
in history topping the previous record of the Miami Dolphins. They are a juggernaut
that no one can stop. Unless Quarterback Tom Brady is injured to the point in which he cannot play the Pats, ( and this is hard for a Raiders fan to admit), will be the NFL champs and take home the Lombardi Trophy.
THE WAR - Iraq should continue to be a success, again much to the frustration of the Democrats. They had hoped to turn the perceived
Iraq, "failure, " into
coup for the 2008 Presidential run, especially since they still believe
they are running against George
Bush rather than whomever the nominee will be. I have always said success in Iraq means trouble for the Democrats since they have invested so much political capital into Iraq
failure. This issue may very well comeback to haunt them at the polls come November. They must push for withdrawal to satisfy their left wing base while watching success change favorably change public opinion about US involvement
in Iraq. All in all 2008 will be a bad
year for Democrats concerning the war if things remain successful which they should.
THE ECONOMY - Every time the Fed or other economic
entities have predicted gloom and doom for the current economy, they have had to regroup and admit that this economy is stronger than they had predicted. Unless a major crash in a vital part of the economy takes place in 2008, next year will be no different. The proof of the strength of the economy lies in the fact
that we have two very volatile
segments of the economy that are failing yet the economy remains strong. Energy is fluctuation and prices are consistently
rising which in any other economy alone would have sent hings
into a tail spin. Yet despite rising prices the economy has remained stable and on the up swing. The same thing holds true with the mortgage crises. Any other economy would
have crashed under the strain of so many foreclosures and bad and shady mortgages, but again the strength of this economy has allowed it to survive and still grow.
Major indicators such as employment, job creation and consumer confidence have baffled the experts and again unless a major segment of the economy fails, 2008 should remain relatively strong.
THE MIDDLE EAST - This region has always been volatile and 2008 will be no different. Israel and the Palestinians will continue to bicker with the Bush Administration trying to broker peace between the two as it is obvious that this has become a legacy goal for the President.
With the assassination of Bhutto, Pakistan at least in the short term will be highly charged. But also remember that since it first broke away from India as they were seeking independence from Great Britain in the late forties, Pakistan has always been in an uproar in one way or another. Al Qaeda
is trying to keep the country off balance in order to gain a foothold there as they had in Afghanistan, but Musharraf, though not the most favorable of leaders, lets face it he is a strong man dictator, but still pro-US and is a willing participant in the fight against Islamic fanatics. The Us will remain a backer of him regardless of how unfavorable he may be because of the lesson learned when Carter with a similar dictator abandoned the Shah of Iran which brought about the take over of that country by radical Islam and created an enemy that troubles both the US and the world today.
THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE - This one is very hard to predict, especially with all of the twists that have taken place in the last two months of 2007. On the Democrat side Hillary and Obama
are fighting for the nomination with Edwards trying to creep into the picture. When all is said and done this writer still believes that Hillary Clinton will survive the liberal war and get the Democrat nod for 2008.
The GOP side is far less predictable. No one has received enough support from GOP voters to have a clear lead for the nomination. All of the primary States are up for grabs with a different leader in several of the key States. 2008 could very well be the first year since 1976 when Reagan had a strong challenge to the incumbent Ford and the nomination was decided at the convention. When the February 5th
vote count is completed and most of the primaries are over, this writer believes that the question of who will be the GOP nominee will not be answered which will take the nomination to the Convention in September.
THE PRESIDENT - While the last year of a second term is considered the Lame Duck year for a President, Bush will be more of a player than most in his last year in the White House. Two reasons for this are:
1 - We are still at war and as Commander In Chief, he will be highly involved in both the war effort and the appropriations process.
2 - The Democrat Congress are still looking for a way to fight with Bush and as such the war between Reid, Pelosi
and company and the President will continue. The backbone for limited spending that I wish he had during his first term will keep the Democrats fired up and as such Bush will still be a thorn in their liberal side throughout 2008.
As 2007 becomes history and 2008 begins anew we can look forward to a brisk campaign for President and in the final analysis, this writer will end this look forward by predicting that with Hillary or Obama
as the Democrat nominee, neither can garner the support necessary to win the Presidency. While the GOP nomination is still a toss up between the front runners, any of them should be able to beat the Democrat nominee and keep The White House in Republican control. Happy New Year !