by Chris McDonald
Happy New Year WHW Fam! 2010 was full of political headlines, with many topics left unresolved heading into the new year. Looking through last year’s blogs, I put together 11 questions that I’d like to see answered in 2011.
1. Will House Speaker John Boehner become the new Newt Gingrich?
The last time a House of Representatives had a Republican Speaker (Newt Gingrich) with a Democratic President (Bill Clinton), chaos ensued, and the federal government was briefly shut down. It’s that kind of politics that can’t happen this time around for the Republicans. Boehner must figure out how to work with Obama and the Democrats, otherwise his stint as House Majority Speaker will be a short one.
2. Will President Obama stay front and center?
President Obama’s deal on the tax cuts is sure to usher in more reaching across the aisle on the part of the white house. His decision to keep his cards to his chest his first two years must change, and he must find a way to work with Republicans. Liberals are sure to be outraged at the thought of him working with Republicans on Immigration reform and possible climate change, but it needs to be done.
3. What will become of WikiLeaks?
After leaking classified cables that have embarrassed the United States and sent our government into a tailspin diplomatically, WikiLeaks has set a dangerous precedent for the role media plays in politics. Julian Assange, the site’s founder, is free on bail with a book deal now in the works. If his site can access such personal government information, what is really safe? On a scarier note, what secrets will be next to leak?
4. Will the Tea Party run out of flavor?
Last year the Tea Party gave the Republicans the shot in the arm they needed to strong arm the election, sending newly elected candidates into the House and Senate with a specific set of ideals aiming to stop spending in Washington, and cut the deficit. Whether or not the Tea Party falls into the game plan of the rest of the Republicans remains to be seen, and could give John Boehner more than a few headaches.
5. Will Sarah Palin chase the Presidency, or the money?
Sarah Palin spent the last year bashing the President, bashing fellow Republicans, and spreading her political message by touring across the country. She also wrote and published a book, and filmed a reality show. What is her true motive, money or power? Or Both? Either way, it will be interesting to see which Sarah Palin shows up when Republicans begin to determine who they want to challenge President Obama for the White House in 2012.
6. What will be left of the Health Care Bill?
Republicans have vowed to repeal the bill, which won’t happen, but they may be able to defund some of the biggest components of the bill, which could give President Obama issues as he moves forward to implement his most important achievement as President.
7. Will Climate Change and Immigration bills hit the President’s desk this year?
Two major disappointments on the Democrats side in 2010 was the inability to pass the DREAM Act, which fell apart in the Senate, and the inability to pass any sort of climate change bill. President Obama now has a Republican Majority in the House, and more GOP Senators ready and willing to block any bill they don’t like. Passage of these two bills will be difficult, unless the President is able to get the public on his side, and is willing to compromise.
8. Will unemployment drop below 8%?
This could determine President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. If he is able to boost job growth and improve the economy, he may be able to ride right back into the White House for another 4 years. If he is again unsuccessful at creating enough jobs to lower unemployment significantly, Republicans will continue to attack him from here on out as a president whose economic policies didn’t get the job done after a terrible recession.
9. Will Homeland security prevent any terrorist attacks on our soil?
Despite backlash from pat downs by the TSA, and several scares, our country’s security over the past year has been relatively strong. It will now be a never ending job unfortunately, with homegrown terrorists being trained in the US as we speak. This is the world we now live in, and as scary as it sounds we, and our government, must now be prepared for anything.
10. What will the White House do with Iran?
Iran has been feeling the effects of sanction by the United States in the past year, but nothing has been done to stop their nuclear program, which is now closer than ever to making biological weapons. President Obama will have to make a tough decision going forward over whether or not sanctions will be enough. Do not be surprised if a conversation about invading Iran enters the situation.
11. What Republican will emerge as the frontrunner to the 2012 Presidency?
Sarah Palin is the most popular and well known, but she is not the biggest challenger to President Obama. Several names have been floating around like Huckabee, Pawlenty, Gingrich, as well as Palin. It will be interesting to see who the GOP and the America people stand behind. Will there be dark horse challenger to Obama, as he was in 2008? Only time will tell.