Outlook '08 Predictions: Voters, Innovations And More


Okay, here are my predictions for 2008 as part of our Outlook '08 coverage. We'll look back next year to see how I did--see number 7 below in order to figure out how good I am at this!

1) MY OVERALL PREDICTION: at a time of heightened public anxiety about America's future, the presidential election next November will shatter previous turnout records.

2) A BIG NAME ON MY BEAT: Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, a fish out of water in Washington's partisan wars, will find his defining mission in the attempting to stave off economic recession--but he will fail.

3) A COMPANY ON MY BEAT: The Glover Park Group, with deep connections to Hillary Clinton's campaign, will become the hottest lobbying force in Washington.

4) SOMEONE YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF: The hidden Democratic hero of the election will be J.B. Poersch, who steered the Senate campaign committee to a majority in 2006 and will expand that majority in 2008.

5) A TOP STORY: The open question of whether voters, frustrated with a polarized Washington's failure to produce results, turns the political system upside down and scrambles partisan alliances in 2008.

6) AN INNOVATION: Presidential campaigns will pioneer new ways to attack their opponents without seeming to attack them--using new media outlets such as YouTube and podcasts.

7) ABOUT MYSELF: One of these predictions will be wrong in a big way. Someone who once wrote a newspaper column entitled "The 10 Reasons Why Mike Dukakis Will Beat George H. W. Bush", as I did in 1988, will always remain humble about his prognosticating powers.

8) ANYTHING AT ALL: Whoever wins the presidency in 2008, Americans will shatter a barrier-- of race, gender, age or religion--that will be seen as part of the nation's continuing march toward equal treatment of all its citizens.

Questions? Comments? Write to politicalcapital@cnbc.com.