- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 1, 2012


This year will culminate in a presidential election that I think will mark the beginning of a political upheaval of both parties. Expect jarring aftershocks come November that will reverberate throughout the country well into 2013. What results from those elections in terms of what sets this country on the right path again is murky, like swamp water. But change is a comin’, and our elected leaders had better pay attention this time.

A few observations that will set the stage, followed by my views on which leaders will rise and fall throughout the year:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton: Put simply, Mrs. Clinton has been the consistently bright spot in an otherwise dimly lit Cabinet. President Obama hasn’t exactly led the world on key economic issues (remember French President Nicolas Sarkozy lecturing the U.S. on fiscal responsibility?), but Mrs. Clinton has been the steady hand on the diplomatic ship. I suspect she’ll leave the administration by the summer, but with some of the highest praise from the international community and diplomatic corps.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor: Mr. Cantor will continue to prove he is capable of leading his unruly band of House Republicans through the legislative traps Democrats will set for him. While I haven’t been so enamored with the internal politics between Mr. Cantor and House Speaker John A. Boehner, I do believe him when he says much of that is blown out of proportion. I see Mr. Cantor as a tour de force this year, a cavalier of sorts who is ready to engage Democrats.

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin:Mr. Ryan has the Medicare Midas touch, and he is going to need it. Medicare is going bankrupt. Mr. Ryan knows that and genuinely wants to fix the program. This year could be the time when parties set down their guns and finally come together to enact some long-term solutions for the health care program.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.: Let’s face it, Mr. Biden jumped the shark soon after his successful vice-presidential debates in 2008 against Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. He has had ample opportunities to lead (stimulus, debt panels, etc.), and has failed abysmally. He may well be remembered for his lucid and sometimes unwelcome candor, but not much else.

Rep. Nan A.S. Hayworth of New York: Unless you’re roaming Washington’s halls, you may not have heard of this congresswoman, but she is impressive. A medical doctor by background, Mrs. Hayworth is a formidable legislator whose star promises to rise this year as Obamacare prepares to be implemented.

The Rev. Billy Graham: For the latter half of the 20th century, this Baptist preacher from the foothills of North Carolina has been spreading the good news of the Bible throughout the world. He has counseled presidents back to Dwight D. Eisenhower, all who seek his godly wisdom. In the winter of his life, should he step onto the other side of the river Jordan, I suspect it will awaken a new era. America is so uniquely positioned for revival, and if it happens, it should commemorate the unimpeachable life of Mr. Graham.

The U.S. House and Senate: House Republicans will lose seats, but retain their majority. Senate Democrats will lose their majority to Republicans. The moves will result in the departures of Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California and Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada from their leadership perches. It will be time for new blood in the Democratic caucuses.

President Obama: Mr. Obama will continue his federal empowerment plans through the year. If Mr. Obama somehow manages to save the economy, despite his ineffectual policies, we will get him for another term.

If he fails and his gamble to save Europe fails miserably, like many think will happen, it is likely that we will see a Republican in the White House.

The presidential race is Mr. Obama’s to lose. It is really that simple.

Armstrong Williams, author of the 2010 book “Reawakening Virtues,” is on Sirius Power 128, 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m. Mondays through Fridays. Become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arightside, and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/arightside. Read his content on RightSideWire.com.

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