My forecasting record was approximately as wretched as in the previous year, with at best four good calls out of eight. Unashamed (or shameless), I continue the multiple-choice quiz tradition “borrowed” from the late New York Times columnist William Safire. My choices for 2012 are at the end.
1. In the end, the Occupy D.C. protesters will:
a) Be evicted from both McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza by the U.S. Park Service and District government, who yield to pressure from House Republicans and local business leaders.
b) Be ousted from McPherson Square, whose demonstrators have caused the most ruckus, but remain in Freedom Plaza.
c) Remain in both sites as the McPherson group grows more collaborative, and the White House and Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) decide against a confrontation that would alienate the Democratic base.
d) Declare independence and create a nuclear-free, carbon-neutral, vegan-only mini-state. Like-minded neighborhoods in Takoma Park and Arlington County petition to be annexed.
2. Prominent District politicians who will be indicted in 2012 on charges alleging various campaign and financial wrongs include:
a) Mayor Gray, Council Chairman Kwame Brown and council member Harry Thomas Jr., as U.S. Attorney Ron Machen goes for the full trifecta.
b) Brown and Thomas, but not Gray, as Machen concludes proof is lacking that the mayor knew what his own campaign was doing with Sulaimon Brown.
c) Gray and Thomas, but not Brown.
d) Only Thomas.
e) None of the above, as Machen decides all the allegations are just hot air.
3. In the November presidential and U.S. Senate races, battleground state Virginia will:
a) Go blue, with President Obama winning the state’s electoral votes and Democrat Tim Kaine elected to the Senate. Dems benefit from big turnout among minorities and youths.
b) Go red, with wins by the Republican presidential nominee and Republican George Allen. Dems can’t overcome the slow economy and backlash against the health-care law.
c) Go purple in ticket-splitting drama, with the Republican presidential candidate narrowly winning the state’s electoral votes but Kaine elected by a whisker.
d) Secede from the union in tea party uprising led by Ken Cuccinelli and Jamie Radtke.
4. The region’s various new snow preparedness plans, including the federal government’s revised closing guidelines, will:
a) Cause confusion and have no measurable impact.
b) Cause confusion but also help a bit.
c) Help a bit even though the feds are mocked mercilessly for shutting the government when no storm materializes.
d) Prove so ineffective that the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments seeks management advice from Pepco.