Last year around this time, I correctly predicted the nominations of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton but stumbled badly in failing to foresee Republican victories in November. I did tab the Chicago Cubs as World Series winners. Time for my not-totally-serious look ahead to 2017:
January: In farewell address, President Barack Obama predicts his Obamacare, Iran and Cuba initiatives will survive. Republican Congress repeals Obamacare, effective 2019, and President Donald Trump signs repeal on Inauguration Day. He also announces review of Iran nuclear deal, names son-in-law Jared Kushner new Mideast envoy and nominates Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas for Supreme Court vacancy. Trump Corp. announces new hotels in Jerusalem and Cairo.
February: Patriots beat Cowboys in Super Bowl. Senate Armed Services Committee announces bipartisan hearings on Russian efforts to influence 2016 election. House passes sweeping tax cuts; Democrats warn deficit will spike. Dow Jones Industrial Average hits 21,000. Trump job approval at 50. President Trump announces his first overseas trip will be to Moscow. Democrats elect former Labor Secretary Tom Perez as national chairman.
March: Senate Democrats block tax cut, urging more for the middle class. Dow drops 800 points. Senate confirms Cruz 51-49. House passes reduced Trump infrastructure bill; president denounces GOP leaders. Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomes Trump to Moscow, echoing Margaret Thatcher’s, “We can do business with him.” Trump Hotels announces expansion in Russia. President passes up NATO meeting to hold his 24th victory rally in Kansas. Hillary Clinton becomes president of small liberal arts college in New Hampshire, sparking 2020 rumors. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott names Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to fill Senate vacancy. Trump announces he'll have first presidential press conference in April.
April: Trump decides to keep U.S. relations with Cuba, sparking outcry from conservative Republicans. Trump Hotels announces Cuba expansion. House passes budget resolution with Medicare voucher program for everyone under 45. President cancels press conference. Major insurance companies announce year-end withdrawal from Obamacare, threatening 20 million people with losing health insurance. Trump job approval drops to 43.
May: President makes second overseas trip to Taiwan. China calls U.S. ambassador home for “consultations.” Francois Fillon edges far-right candidate Marion Le Pen in French presidential election. Senate passes tax bill after GOP leaders reduce tax cuts for wealthy. Dow back to 21,000. Trump CIA head Mike Pompeo rejects contention Putin interfered in election. After Trump jawboning, Congress narrowly raises debt ceiling. Budget Director Mick Mulvaney resigns in protest.
June: Liberal groups announce July 4 Washington rally for Americans facing loss of health care coverage. Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously condemns Russia and Putin for election interference “clearly designed to help one candidate.” Golden State beats Cleveland in NBA finals. Blackhawks beat Capitals for Stanley Cup. President names ex-wife Ivana special envoy for climate change. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley makes fifth 2017 visit to Iowa, one fewer than former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander.
July: Anti-Trump rally attracts 2 million protesters, many carrying signs saying “Trump Misled Us.” On year’s second visit to Moscow, Trump and Putin announce new trade pact. Eric Trump named new U.S. ambassador. Patrick edges former HUD Secretary Julian Castro for Cruz Senate seat. Reduced infrastructure bill finally passes Congress. After review, Trump accepts Iran nuclear pact. U.S. envoy to Israel David Friedman resigns; Israel recalls its ambassador.
August: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi announces 2018 retirement, urges fellow 70-something colleagues to follow. Trump skips Group of Seven economic summit to hold 29th victory rally in Alaska. Russian troops invade and overrun Ukraine. Trump says they responded to “provocations.” Unemployment level ticks up to 4.8 percent. Trump vows investigation of Labor Department statisticians.
September: Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, 78, announces he'll seek House Democratic leadership. Dow Jones drops for fourth straight month. Trump blames “Clinton lovers” on Wall Street, fires three ex-Goldman Sachs officials and names Donald Trump Jr. chief economic adviser. As Congress returns, Sen. Mike Lee, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin headline a “He’s No Conservative” rally, accusing Trump of “failing to drain the swamp.”
October: Index of Leading Indicators drops for fifth straight month. Commerce Department predicts annual growth rate at 1.8 percent. Trump blames Obama. The Washington Post reports top aides say Trump spends more time reviewing Trump Co. balance sheets than administration plans. Trump fires Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, names Ivanka Trump as replacement. Senate Democratic resistance forces Congress to adopt stop-gap spending bill. Nationals edge Indians in World Series.
November: Trump job approval drops to 38. In reversal, Trump announces he will attend NATO defense meeting. Other countries tell him to stay home unless he'll back increased sanctions against Russia. Department of Health and Human Services says percentage of uninsured Americans is up to 14 percent
December: Rising unemployment reaches 5.5 percent. Trump approval at 36. Trump blames business leaders at his 33rd victory rally in Nebraska. Secret strategy memo by RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel urges Republican 2018 candidates to “do whatever necessary” to separate themselves from President Trump. President tries to fire her but is told RNC sets her term. President cancels annual White House Press Christmas Reception but promises first news conference for January 2018.
Carl P. Leubsdorf is the former Washington bureau chief of the Dallas Morning News. Readers may write to him via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.