Office Pool 2014

Predicting the next Senate, the fate of several dictators, President Obama's next push, and more

In memory of the late William Safire:

1. The November election results in a) Republican majorities in both the Senate and House as voters vent their rage at ObamaCare and frustration at a still-sluggish economy b) Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate as Democrats portray Republicans as obstructionist and the Republican base stays home c) same configuration, roughly, that we have now, with Congress split between a Democratic majority in the Senate and a Republican majority in the House.

2. The year ends with a) Governor-elect Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island b) Governor-elect Tom Foley of Connecticut c) Governor-elect Juliette Kayyem of Massachusetts d) Senator-Elect Tom Cotton of Arkansas e) all of the above f) none of the above.

3. The nonfiction bestseller of the year will be:  a) James Madison, by Lynne Cheney b) The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class by Fred Siegel c) One Nation: What We Can All Do To Save America’s Future by Ben Carson, M.D. d) The Road to Global Prosperity by Michael Mandelbaum e) Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng’s untitled memoir f) Sweetheart, Gone To See The President: An Unconventional Marriage by Lucinda Franks.

4. The Iran nuclear outcome is a) Kerry-engineered interim “deal” falls apart b) sides agree to extend interim deal for another six months to allow for continued negotiations on a longer-term deal c) Saudi, Egyptian nuclear weapons programs advance as Arabs doubt Iranians will adhere to deal.

5. The big story of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first year in New York is a) the mayor can’t get his income tax increase on the rich past Governor Cuomo or the State Senate in Albany b) first spouse Chirlane McCray’s co-mayor role frustrates commissioners c) fury of charter-school parents as Bloomberg-era gains are rolled back d) return of “squeegee men” and homeless camped out in sidewalks and subway tunnels feeds meme of reversal of city’s progress.

6. The dictator to exit, dead or alive, in 2014 will be a) Bashar Assad of Syria b) Fidel Castro of Cuba c) Abdullah of Saudi Arabia d) Ali Khamenei of Iran. (This question was in the last two years’ office pools, too. Eventually at least one of them’s got to go, no?)

7. The Sochi Olympics are marked by a) sporadic spontaneous protests about Russia’s policies on gay rights b) a surprisingly strong showing by the United States team that, for at least a few weeks, silences talk of America’s decline c) a surprisingly week showing by the United States team that feeds talk of America’s decline d) a performance-enhancing drug scandal.

8. President Obama’s big push in his State of the Union address will involve a) climate change b) immigration c) gun control d) inequality e) all of the above.

9. The big business story of the year is a) Fed scares markets with efforts to unwind QE b) Europe finally roars back c) the “headquarters curse” hits Apple, Google, and Facebook.

10. The media success of the year is a) Jeff Bezos’s turnaround of the Washington Post b) John Henry’s turnaround of the Boston Globe c) newly installed editor Joel Lovell’s turnaround of the New York Times magazine d) the newly Politico-owned Capital New York e) Jessica Lessin’s The Information.

11. The sleeper political issue of the year is a) traffic/sprawl b) health care, after ObamaCare enrollment is far lower than expected c) executive compensation at non-profit colleges, hospitals, and foundations d) inequality, after Pope Francis visits U.S. slums, then Wall Street e) medical marijuana f) welfare reform.

When I tried this last year, the article predicted, or at least raised the possibilities of, Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellin, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew, and CIA Director John Brennan . So hang onto your hats, and early wishes for a peaceful, prosperous, happy and free New Year to all.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Sevo||

    Uh, it looks like:
    Next year will be
    a) better
    b) worse
    That's a prediction?

  • The DerpRider||

    I'm confused. If I try to list as many possible outcomes I'm making a prediction?

  • Agammamon||

    *He's* not making a prediction - he's offering a choice of outcomes for others to bet on, winner takes all.

  • Sevo||

    Thank you. NOW I get it.

  • The DerpRider||

    Ah. Thank you, sir!

  • ||

    Shouldn't that be whiner takes all?

  • MacKlingon||

    next year will be 99% more of the same, the rest will be worse.

  • amagi1776||

    The Libertarian party wins a majority in all state legislatures, Congress and the Presidency.

    The National Security State, the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex and the drug war are all eliminated.

    Virtually all gun control laws are eliminated.

    Federal spending declines 75% and my taxes drop from 35% to roughly 5% to 10% to fund Military spending, and federal courts.

    I wake up right about then on New Years Day, having passed out after drinking myself into the oblivion that forced me to dream/hallucinate the wonderful world I just shared with all of you.

  • Hugh Akston||

    This should have been formatted as a matrix, possibly as a printable pdf. This format just confuses the weaker minds among us.

  • Sevo||


  • zaphod||

    Number should read "Obama's top priority will be" and the answer is "e"

    This way his central planners can focus on the one true important goal, distracting the public from seeing the disaster his policies have lead to.

  • zaphod||

    Number 8 sorry folks.

  • Sunmonocle Backwards Tophat||

    The title of this post left me disappointed.

    1. c
    2. d
    3. LOL, hopefully e
    4. b
    5. d
    6. b, hopefully d
    7. c
    8. e
    9. b
    10. c, if by media success you mean the media's success in selling the media's success.
    11. f

    Also, what about soccer and the obvious political implications of the U.S. getting beat by Ghana again?

  • Almanian!||

    What a waste of time. Thanks for NOTHING, Reason.

    *whirls on heal, walks off in a huff*

  • Almanian!||

    "heel", maybe? derp

  • Bob_R||

    You should have to write the word "heel" on the chalkboard for a weak.

  • Sevo||

    'You should have two write the word "heel" on the chalkboard four a weak.'


  • Almanian!||

    WAIT! I take it back! The ad for "1000's of Single Asian Women" has piqued my interest. Perhaps it was worth skimming Stoll's stool....


  • The Last American Hero||

    I'm pretty sure we're headed for a scandal-plagued Olympics. I bet there's a ton of pressure for the home team to show well, but unlike when China hosted, they don't have the resources to fund the programs properly. Plus, equestrian is a summer games event, so Putin can't lend his talents to the cause.

  • Kid Xenocles||

    Sochi Olympics- I think there ought to be some sort of violence option given the location.

  • Gray Ghost||

    This. The show of force the Russian Federation will put on will be something to behold, considering they're maybe 210 miles away from Beslan, and 260 from downtown Grozny.

  • Stephdumas||

    For #6; I think it's a tie between b and d and I can add "e" to the list for Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.

  • SuperOBD SKP-100||

    Good post.

  • florrichd553||

    my classmate's mother makes 86 USD/hour on the laptop. She has been out of a job for eight months but last month her pay check was 21256 USD just working on the laptop for a few hours. visit this web-site

  • XM||

    "A surprisingly week performance"


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.