Sure, sure, the midterm elections are this year and will produce copious amounts of political content. But in the land of Washington Whispers, there's other stories we're looking forward to covering, too. Here's what you, our dear readers, can expect in 2014:
January - When first lady Michelle Obama turned 49 last year, she did so by wowing the world with a new hairstyle: bangs. This year, at 50, she's expected to party it up. The Chicago Tribune reported that plans are already underway for a Jan. 18 birthday gala, being called "Snacks & Sips & Dancing & Dessert." (Obama's actual birthday is Jan. 17, a birthday she shares with yours truly.) Guests have been instructed to eat before they come, to wear comfortable shoes and to warm up their dance moves. While the White House is staying mum about who will perform, the UK's Daily Mail, attributing the info to an unnamed source, suggested last year that it would be Beyonce and Adele.
February - When Netflix CEO Reed Hastings showed up at the White House last month, President Barack Obama immediately wanted to know if Hastings had brought with him advance copies of Kevin Spacey's popular political drama "House of Cards." "I wish things were that ruthlessly efficient," Obama said of the series' portrayal of Washington. Obama (unless Hastings indeed brought early screeners) will have to wait until Valentine's Day to binge-watch more "House of Cards," as that's the date Netflix will release the entirety of season two.
March - The Conservative Political Action Conference, scheduled for March 6 to March 8, is considered a must for Republican politicians hoping to get the blessings of the right wing of the party. And much is read into when a prominent pol doesn't get invited or show up -- such as last year's CPAC snub of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and when former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin refused an invitation for several years in a row. The conference almost always attracts colorful characters like "19 Kids and Counting" stars Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, the "rent is too damn high" guy Jimmy McMillan and former "Growing Pains" star Kirk Cameron.
April - In April, fans of former Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., will be able to grab a copy of his new political book "Guardian of the Republic," in which West refers to himself as a "ronin," a Samurai with no lord or master, and poses for the cover with his bald eagle-emblazoned 2005 Honda VTX-1800N motorcycle. "And as long as I put my American butt on it, it is American," West told Whispers back in November. West's first foray into the book world will be released on April Fools' Day, which we're sure is a mere coincidence.
May - It's generally held the last weekend of April, but this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner is scheduled for May 3 and will help mark the White House Correspondents' Association's 100th year. In recent years, the celebrities attending the dinner -- such as Lindsay Lohan, Kim Kardashian and Bradley Cooper -- and the parties surrounding it -- like D.C. connector Tammy Haddad's brunch -- have gotten as much attention as the dinner itself. This has led to criticism and controversy. For example, last year when Hollywood PR firm GBK and The Creative Coalition announced plans for a high-end "swag suite" to be held in conjunction with the dinner, then-WHCA president Ed Henry flipped out. "This dinner is not about swag, it's about scholarships," Henry said at the time. Expect similar stories this year, as the WHCA strives to keep the dinner focused on journalism, while Washington is barraged by Hollywood stars.
June - Adding more buzz to the will-she-or-won't-she game, Hillary Clinton's newest memoir is set to become a summer beach read, dropping June 1. The so far unnamed tome is expected to focus on Clinton's time as secretary of state, as her last memoir, "Living History," came out in 2003, back when she was a sitting U.S. senator. It's also supposed to contain Clinton's policy prescriptions for the future, fueling more presidential-run rumors. Perhaps indicating its future best-seller status, the book has been available for pre-order on Amazon since May of last year.
July - It's not quite CPAC for the left, but the annual liberal blogger convention Netroots Nation is heading to Detroit this July, intentionally heading to a state with a Republican governor -- Rick Snyder -- who is up for re-election. In the past, Netroots Nation has attracted big-name keynote speakers, such as former President Bill Clinton, and been a place where Democratic presidential hopefuls came to play. A keynote by former Secretary of State Clinton, on the heels of her book release, would position her nicely for 2016.
August - There's already been a lot of buzz about Wyoming's U.S. Senate primary. It was a big deal as soon as former second daughter Liz Cheney jumped in, and became even more newsy once Mary Cheney called out sis Liz over her gay marriage stance. But it won't be until August of 2014 that voters will choose between Cheney and incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi, a Republican who in some polls was leading Cheney by 52 points. Additionally in August, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is known to perform free eye surgery over his summer break.
September - If former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., does decide to play carpetbagger and run for a U.S. Senate seat in New Hampshire, he'll take on fellow Republicans in the state's Sept. 9 primary. Brown's flirtation with the neighboring senate seat has included moving to New Hampshire, forming a political action committee in the state and appearing at New Hampshire GOP events. (At a New Hampshire event last month, Brown's tongue got tripped up as he started to say "Massachusetts" before subbing in "New Hampshire.") All of these moves may look like he's seriously considering a run, though he might also be pulling a Sarah Palin -- toying with public office to stay politically relevant.
October - One year after the government shutdown, October 2014 will be politically busy as candidates complete their final month of campaigning for the upcoming midterms. Halloween hopefully will bring some political meme-themed costumes. Additionally, Michelle Obama likely will host a cute event where kids join her in harvesting the White House Kitchen Garden.
November - The big political story in November will be the midterm elections as voters head to the polls on Nov. 4 to cast votes in 35 Senate races, 435 House races and 36 gubernatorial races. While Democrats would love to take back the House of Representatives, it's more likely that the Republicans will get closer to commandeering the Senate. The GOP eyed the Senate in 2012, too, only to have candidates like Todd "legitimate rape" Akin snatch defeat from the hands of victory.
December - Sure, 2015 is the next calendar year, but like it or not come December, 2016 fever officially will begin. Potential 2016 GOP hopefuls like Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and long-shot candidate Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan must have won re-election races in order to be taken seriously as presidential candidates. The midterms also will help answer questions like what role the tea party is playing in the Republican party going forward and how a Democratic presidential candidate will do running on Obamacare.