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 »
"A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 34% of registered voters think the three presidential debates would be extremely or quite important in helping them decide whom to support for president. About 11% of voters are considered 'debate persuadables'—that is, they think the debates are important and are either third-party voters or only loosely committed to either major-party candidate."
Will he or won't he? That's the question surrounding Donald Trump and his on-again, off-again threats to bring onetime Bill Clinton paramour Gennifer Flowers to the debate as his guest. An assistant to flowers initially said she'd be there, but Trump campaign chief Kellyanne Conway "said on ABC’s 'This Week' that the Trump campaign had not invited Flowers to the debate, but she didn’t rule out the possibility of Flowers being in the audience."
NBC's Lester Holt hasn't hosted the "Nightly News" since Tuesday, as he's prepped for moderating the first presidential debate tonight—and the first of his career. He's called on a host of NBC talent to help him, namely NBC News and MSNBC chairman Andy Lack; NBC News president Deborah Turness; the news division's senior vice president of editorial, Janelle Rodriguez; "Nightly News" producer Sam Singal, "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd, senior political editor Mark Murray and political editor Carrie Dann. But during the debate itself, the only person in Holt's earpiece will be longtime debate producer Marty Slutsky.
"The House passed legislation late Thursday that would prohibit the federal government from making any cash payments to Iran, in protest of President Obama's recently discovered decision to pay Iran $1.7 billion in cash in January. And while the White House has said Obama would veto the bill, 16 Democrats joined with Republicans to pass the measure, 254-163."
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”