2015 Predictions Mostly True — With Some Surprises

Some had hoped Zuckerberg’s generosity would be the story of the year. They were disappointed.


As 2015 comes to a close and we begin the start of a new election year — and, fingers crossed, a new trajectory for the country away from hyper-focus on social issues and more of a balanced approached toward leadership — it’s interesting to look back and see if what the pundits predicted about the last year came true, and what they may have missed.

The Washington Examiner, back in January, laid out a list of five stories they thought would top the news cycle for the year, leading with the horse race for the GOP nomination. They also wondered if anyone would challenge Hillary Clinton, and if the economy would be the primary policy issue for office seekers.

While their musings on what Obama’s next move would be fell flat — turns out he really isn’t all that much a man of action — they certainly got the GOP presidential race right because who in their right mind could have predicted the ascendency of Donald Trump (and, hopefully, his slow fade to black as more and more people get wise to his brand of beat-you-over-the-head-with-your-basest-desires brand of advertising)?

As many as 20 Republicans might be interested in running for president. If only half of them end up launching bids, 2015 will be a wild ride — and one that could shape the future of the GOP for years to come. One important question with such a wide field will be whether the Republican Party can rein in the primary process, as it has sought to do in this election cycle, or whether the nominating contest will run off the tracks. After 2014, when the Republican Establishment stifled Tea Party insurgents, candidates repping the conservative wing of the party might be eager to fight back.

So far, the reigning in hasn’t happened. But it will need to if the essentially unchallenged Hillary is to be defeated (assuming her own bad decisions don’t defeat her first).

So what did they miss?

The forced focus on international affairs and national security (something Obama was unprepared for and likely had to scramble to address), what with Putin’s desire to reestablish the Soviet Union; the continuing story of Benghazi and Libya; ISIS attacks in Paris and the US; and the final cherry on top, news that the NSA is still spying (which is probably good) but may be doing it at the behest of a political agenda (definitely not good) as Congress finds itself either inadvertently swept up in some of the listening, or targeted, depending on your persepctive.

And, a little further down the rabbit hole, George Will has a great list of the ludicrous from the past year that is definitely worth the read. He begins thusly, and just goes on into absurdity from there:

We learned that a dismal threshold has been passed. The value of property that police departments seized through civil-asset forfeiture — usually without accusing, let alone convicting, the property owners of a crime — exceeded the value of property stolen by nongovernment burglars. The attorney general of New York, which reaps billions from gambling — casinos, off-track betting, the state lottery — moved to extinguish (competition from) fantasy football because it is gambling. Florida police raided a mahjong game played by four women aged between 87 and 95 because their game’s stakes allegedly exceeded the $10 limit set by state law. A Michigan woman was fingerprinted, had her mug shot taken, and was jailed until released on bond because she was late in renewing the $10 license for her dog. New Jersey police arrested a 72-year-old retired teacher, chained his hands and feet to a bench, and charged him with illegally carrying a firearm — a 300-year-old flintlock pistol (with no powder, flint, or ball) he purchased from an antique dealer.
What tops your list for the story of the year and which do you think will have the most impact in 2016?

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