In 2013, Bashar al-Assad was ousted from Syria, unemployment remained at 8 percent, and the Washington Redskins won the Super Bowl.
That’s obviously not what happened this year. But being wrong never stops a whole slew of psychics and pundits from making bold new predictions for the next year.
For now, however, we’re going to take a look at the predictions made at the end of last year and beginning of this year for what would happen in 2013. Some were on the mark, and others were way off.
What People Got Right
The National Rifle Association predicted in mid-January that an assault-rifle ban would not pass Congress. After months of hearings, a watered-down gun-control bill couldn’t even clear the Democrat-controlled Senate.
Bloomberg columnist Ramesh Ponnuru predicted HealthCare.gov would not be ready by its Oct. 1 deadline, along with a list of predicted setbacks for the Obamacare rollout. This was true, as the Obama administration continues to struggle with the new insurance program.
Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin predicted that Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli would lose narrowly to Democrat Terry McAuliffe. She was correct, as McAuliffe carried the race by a 48 to 45 percent margin.
Investment news website The Street predicted that Twitter would file its documents to start the process of going public this year. That panned out. On Sept. 12, Twitter did file to go public, showing $317 million in revenue.
Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent predicted more “scorched-earth battles” between House Republicans and President Obama over the fiscal cliff, the debt ceiling, and gun control. “In other words, lots more of the same!” he wrote. That wasn’t a terribly hard call to make, but he was correct.
Politico’s Josh Gerstein predicted the Supreme Court would not uphold the right to same-sex marriage, but would wait to make a broad decision for another term. While the Supreme Court did rule that same-sex couples deserved federal benefits and effectively allowed same-sex marriages to continue in California, the court did not declare same-sex marriage a constitutional right throughout the country.
And the Failures
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly predicted in January that immigration reform would happen. “We can expect a quasi-amnesty for law-abiding illegal aliens already in the country,” he said. Immigration reform, however, never did happen and is still making its slow way through Congress.
Former Bush adviser Karl Rove predicted the unemployment rate would be around 8 percent throughout the year. As of November, the unemployment rate was 7 percent, and had been declining since January. He also predicted there would be more Democratic than Republican retirements from the House. At press time, eight Republicans and only one Democrat have announced their retirements. This does not include members running for other offices.
Ponnuru also predicted that Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., would resign from the House because he “will find that the constraints of serving in the U.S. House make it impossible for him to mount a serious presidential campaign.” That was incorrect, and Ryan ended up being one of the two main players in reaching a major budget agreement. He’s actually reportedly very much interested in sticking in the House, with his eyes set on the Ways and Means chairmanship.
New York Observer’s Duff McDonald predicted that Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein would retire and be replaced by Gary Cohn. It was a bold prediction, but Blankfein is still on top of the investment-banking firm.
The Atlantic’s Jordan Weissmann predicted the fall of online daily-deals website Groupon. “Bottom line: In 2013, Groupon expires for good,” he wrote. Groupon is still around. Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday of this year, the company recorded its biggest four-day weekend of sales.
Al Jazeera’s Barnaby Phillips predicted that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would not last 2013, ending his reign in either of three ways: escaping to Russia, fleeing to an Alawite stronghold within Syria’s borders, or getting killed. Assad, however, looks stronger than he has in recent years, emboldened by recent victories in the civil war and an international agreement to rid the country of its chemical weapons.
Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson predicted that both Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro would die in 2013. This was only half true, as only Chavez passed away in March. Castro, though frail, is still alive.
Former Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien predicted the Washington NFL team would win the Super Bowl. Activists were closer to changing the team name than the Redskins were to going to the show.
CBS Sports’ Bruce Feldman predicted that Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel would lead the team to another top-five finish. Texas A&M finished at No. 21 in the BCS standings. Nice try, Johnny Football.
Headline News predicted Simon Cowell would return to American Idol and John Mayer and Taylor Swift would get back together. Sadly, both of those predictions were incorrect. We’re still holding out hope.
What We're Following See More »
"The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump's associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign, multiple US officials briefed on the matter tell CNN. But a White House official said late Thursday that the request was only made after the FBI indicated to the White House it did not believe the reporting to be accurate."
Sen. Susan Collins, who sits on the Intelligence Committee, "said on Wednesday she's open to using a subpoena to investigate President Donald Trump's tax returns for potential connections to Russia." She said the committee is also open to subpoenaing Trump himself. "This is a counter-intelligence operation in many ways," she said of Russia's interference. "That's what our committee specializes in. We are used to probing in depth in this area."
"Top lawyers who helped the Obama White House craft and hold to rules of conduct believe President Donald Trump and his staff will break ethics norms meant to guard against politicization of the government — and they’ve formed a new group to prepare, and fight. United to Protect Democracy, which draws its name from a line in President Barack Obama’s farewell address that urged his supporters to pick up where he was leaving off, has already raised a $1.5 million operating budget, hired five staffers and has plans to double that in the coming months." Meanwhile, NPR has launched a "Trump Ethics Monitor" to track the resolution of ten ethics-related promises that the president has made.