A year ago, we predicted Sarah Palin’s resignation as Alaska’s governor. Unfortunately, we missed almost everything else, including overly optimistic forecasts of Kay Bailey Hutchison’s gubernatorial prospects and congressional approval ratings. Undaunted, we’re back to try again in predicting 2010.
January: Texas Rangers are sold to a syndicate including George W. Bush, who resumes his role as managing partner. President Barack Obama predicts Congress will pass health reform bill by his State of the Union speech. Dallas Cowboys lose opening playoff game. Senate Republicans filibuster Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s re-appointment, saying the Bush appointee has become “too friendly” with the Democratic administration.
February: Senate-House conferees suspend health care deliberations so members can attend State of the Union speech. Indianapolis Colts win Super Bowl. Obama warns Iran will face “consequences” if it fails to stop nuclear weapons development. Republicans critical as new Obama budget predicts deficit will drop to $1 trillion as economy improves.
March: Gov. Rick Perry defeats Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in Texas GOP gubernatorial primary. As promised, Hutchison resigns her Senate seat; Perry asks Dick Cheney to make a recommendation for the interim appointment. “Tea Bag” insurgents unseat three Texas GOP House members as insufficiently conservative. House Democrats drop “public option,” but health conferees remain deadlocked over financing expanded coverage. Rangers sign Sammy Sosa as a free agent, as Bush seeks to compensate for trading him in 1989.
April: Dick Cheney recommends that Perry’s best choice for the Senate is ... Dick Cheney. The former vice president becomes the newest GOP senator and is assigned to the Intelligence Committee. Tiger Woods, returning to golf, wins Masters. Cowboys trade quarterback Tony Romo to Washington Redskins and draft former Texas Longhorn quarterback Colt McCoy. Republicans urge Americans to boycott federal census because it’s being run by Democrats seeking partisan advantage. Rangers open season with eight straight wins.
May: David Dewhurst resigns as Texas’ lieutenant governor to seek former Hutchison Senate seat. So does former Rep. Dick Armey. Facing stiff re-election fight, Rep. Chet Edwards enters Senate race. Trailing Democrat Bill White in the gubernatorial polls, Perry names Hutchison as lieutenant governor. Iran announces nuclear bomb test.
June: Cleveland Cavaliers beat San Antonio Spurs for NBA title. Washington Capitals win hockey’s Stanley Cup. Israeli planes bomb and eliminate Iranian nuclear weapons site. Obama drops opposition to Israeli West Bank settlement expansion. Senate-House conferees remain deadlocked on health reform as Congress starts July 4 recess.
July: Obama predicts health bill by August recess. Economy registers strong second-quarter gains. Democrats credit Obama economic policies; Republicans say it’s despite Obama’s policies. National Hockey League names “hockey mom” Sarah Palin as its new commissioner.
August: Congress adjourns for recess without health bill agreement. House Republican Leader John Boehner resigns to head PGA golf tour. Dallas Rep. Jeb Hensarling challenges Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor for leadership post.
September: Conferees agree on health bill without a “public option,” but liberal defections cause House to reject compromise, 219-215, sending it back to conference. Cantor wins GOP leadership; Hensarling is elected whip.
October: Unemployment drops to 9 percent. Cheney leads Republican Senate filibuster that blocks bipartisan immigration bill. Congress recesses for election with conferees still deadlocked on health care. Yankees beat Rangers in American League playoffs and again beat Phillies in World Series. NHL moves Phoenix Coyotes to Anchorage, Alaska.
November: Perry edges Democrat White to extend his governorship. Hutchison elected lieutenant governor. Democrat Edwards and Republican Armey make Senate runoff. Improved national economy limits GOP gains to 16 House seats, two Senate seats and four governorships. Rush Limbaugh blames “liberal” Republican congressional leaders. Obama says results show public wants more Republican cooperation.
December: Democrat Edwards wins former Hutchison Senate seat. After he replaces Cheney, Congress passes Obama’s health care and immigration bills. Redskins, led by Romo, win NFC East. Cowboys (5-9) bench McCoy. Palin resigns as NHL commissioner to become coach of Anchorage Anchors. Perry says he may seek presidency in 2012.