Last year, we correctly foresaw Democratic capture of the House, re-election of Gov. Greg Abbott and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, and a Las Vegas-Washington Stanley Cup final, but missed Republican retention of the Senate and the Caps’ victory.
Trying again for 2019:
JANUARY: Union speech, leading to stock market rebound. Fox commentator Laura Ingraham replaces White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.
FEBRUARY: Trump nominates acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney as secretary of defense, chooses daughter Ivanka as new chief of staff. Los Angeles Rams beat New England Patriots in Super Bowl. Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke says he is considering presidential race. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell questions new tax cuts. Trump fires Barr, reinstates Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general. Special counsel Robert Mueller submits initial report to Whitaker, who refuses to make it public. Former Vice President Joe Biden says he’ll skip presidential race if O’Rourke runs. Trump says he hopes Democrats nominate Hillary Clinton or Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. (ineligible at age 29).
MARCH: Trump nominates Jared Kushner as attorney general. House Ways and Means Committee rejects Trump tax-cut plan, approves increase in upper rates. Dow Jones industrial average drops 900 points. Announced Democratic candidates surpass Republicans’ total of 17. Kushner recuses self from Russia investigation, citing campaign involvement. Whitaker reinstated. Trump names Fox commentator Sean Hannity as commerce secretary after Wilbur Ross falls asleep at televised Cabinet meeting. O’Rourke says he is considering presidential race.
APRIL: Iowa Poll shows Biden as front-runner with 18 percent, followed by Sanders at 11 percent and O’Rourke at 10 percent. Mueller announces Kushner’s indictment for lying to Congress; he resigns as attorney general. US-China trade talks collapse. Dow Jones industrial average drops 1,000 points. First-quarter gross domestic product drops to 2.1 percent annual growth; Trump blames Democratic House. Trump nominates immigration hardliner Steve Miller as homeland security secretary, and longtime aide Kellyanne Conway as attorney general.
MAY: Democratic House rejects U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, calls for reinstatement of NAFTA. Trump fires Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Conway recuses herself from Russia investigation, names her husband, George Conway, as acting deputy attorney general, in charge of investigation. Dow Jones drops below 20,000; Trump blames Democratic House. Democrats announce that the first presidential debate will have three divisions, each with eight candidates, drawn by lot.
JUNE: O’Rourke announces presidential candidacy. Mueller says he has completed Russia investigation; Trump orders Conway to keep “witch hunt” secret. Press says first Democratic debate winners are Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana, former Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. Every time O’Rourke tries to speak, Sanders cuts him off. Dow Jones drops below Jan. 20, 2017, level. Golden State and Washington retain NBA title and Stanley Cup. The Washington Post publishes full text of Mueller report, which accuses Trump of conspiring with Russians and ordering aides to lie to Congress but makes no explicit judicial or congressional recommendations.
JULY: Trump claims exoneration, writing on Twitter that Mueller report does not urge impeachment. House Democrats begin impeachment inquiry. Senate rejects Miller’s homeland security nomination. Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin announce plans for summit in ancient Russian city of Novgorod. Second-quarter GDP drops to 1.7 percent annual rate. Trump fires Hannity, names son Donald Trump Jr.as commerce secretary and son Eric to head Homeland Security. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says Senate won’t consider any House-passed impeachment resolutions.
AUGUST: At Novgorod summit, Putin endorses Trump for re-election. O’Rourke leads Democratic polls with Gabbard second, followed by Mitch Landrieu, Bullock, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Sanders. Aide says Hillary Clinton is considering entering presidential race. Appeals court upholds district court ruling that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. Democratic attorneys general ask for expedited Supreme Court hearing.
SEPTEMBER: O’Rourke, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe win second set of Democratic debates. Iowa Poll: O’Rourke 12 percent, Harris 11 percent, Klobuchar 9 percent, Gabbard 8 percent, Sanders 7 percent. Iowa Democratic chairman urges Clinton to stay out. Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich announces New Hampshire primary challenge to Trump. Red Sox edge Yankees for American League East crown; other winners: White Sox, Astros, Nationals, Cardinals, Dodgers.
OCTOBER: Government shuts down as deadlocked Congress fails to pass any appropriations bills. Hillary Clinton enters Democratic presidential race but says she will bypass debates. Nationals beat Red Sox in World Series. After 18 days, Trump and Congress agree to fund government, ending shutdown. With Trump approval at 27 percent, Vice President Mike Pence endorses Kasich.
NOVEMBER: Democrats sweep Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi governorships. Supreme Court overturns lower court, reaffirms by Affordable Care Act. House Judiciary Committee votes 27-12 to impeach Trump on charges of obstructing Mueller investigation, paying “hush money” to silence women and soliciting Russian help in 2016 election. Iowa Democratic poll shows O’Rourke and Harris deadlocked at 12 percent; Clinton is 12th with 2 percent.
DECEMBER: Full House votes to impeach Trump; 15 Republicans join 235 Democrats. Clinton, $10 million in debt, abandons candidacy. O’Rourke leads Iowa poll with 15 percent. New Hampshire Republican: Trump 47 percent, Kasich 39 percent. Republican leaders McConnell and Kevin McCarthy, plus Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., visit White House, urging Trump to step down. He refuses. McConnell says Senate will hold trial in January.
To be continued.
Carl P. Leubsdorf is the former Washington bureau chief of the Dallas Morning News. Readers may write to him via email at: email@example.com.