By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
We could have gone to top lawmakers and analysts to tell us their political predictions for 2010, but they sometimes have the record of a lazy weatherman. Who, for example, predicted President Obama would fall so far in the polls? Heck, just two years ago, who even thought Barack Obama would be president? So we went to a few outsiders and contrarians for their predictions about the major political events that could occur in 2010. See a slide show of 2010 predictions.
Brad Meltzer, author of the New York Times bestseller The Book Of Fate and several other thrillers:
New terror attack on U.S. soil. Also: Look for the fading of Sarah Palin and the rise of Jeb Bush.
Jim Lighthizer, president of the Civil War Preservation Trust, the nation's largest group devoted to saving Civil War sites:
We're going to see more serious involvement by the Feds in land preservation than at any time in a generation. These guys (and gals) at Interior really get it when it comes to not only protecting important land resources but also (at least I hope) in being advocates against threats to land already protected. They also seem serious about encouraging the public to actually use these assets. I predict the Interior folks will finally get serious about promoting the sesquicentennial of the Civil War and becoming an ally in fighting the likes of Wal-Mart in the attempts to desecrate parts of our national heritage.
Karen Finney, a consultant and former Democratic National Committee spokeswoman:
Its going to be a tough year for incumbents in both parties and a potentially good year for challengers as Democrats and Republicans alike realize how hard it is to turn out the 2008 Obama voters, who are less likely to be driven be ideology and more driven by the need for change in Washington.
Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals:
The Republican Party will add a baby elephant to its logo, citing family values, while cunningly shoring up the animal protectionist vote by seeming to back PETA's campaign to get circuses to stop separating elephant mothers from their youngsters (www.circuses.com). The White House will kick off a new tradition by pardoning a chicken for Easter after the first daughters come home from school in tears having watched Sir Paul McCartney's video 'Meet Your Meat.' To show an understanding of Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, the White House will authorize a pigeon feeding station in Lafayette Park. And the record number of vegans now in the House will mean PETA won't have to resort to bringing Playmates to the annual veggie dog giveaway on the Capitol steps.
Karl Frisch, senior fellow at Media Matters for America:
Fox News will live up to basic journalistic standards, becoming more like the news outlet it claims to be and less like the communications hub of the GOP that it is—we can dream, can't we?
Frank Luntz, political and product message developer:
GOP gains 30 House seats on Election Day.