Wishing good riddance to 2020, it's time for our annual not totally serious forecast for 2021. For the record, we predicted last year that Donald Trump would lose re-election — but to Pete Buttigieg — and that Joe Biden would become secretary of state! Who's perfect?
January: Democrats narrowly win two Georgia Senate seats; Republicans demand recount of mail ballots. With Vice President Mike Pence inexplicably absent, Senate President Pro Tem Chuck Grassley presides as Congress formalizes Biden's victory. Alabama wins college football title. Outgoing President Trump unexpectedly attends Biden's inauguration, needs to be restrained by Dr. Jill Biden when he tries to come forward for oath-taking. Republican National Committee elects Donald Trump Jr. as co-chair (and heir apparent) to re-elected National Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel. With VP Kamala Harris breaking 50-50 tie, Democrats take control of Senate.
February: Decommissioned Flushing, New York, Airport renamed Flushing Trump Field. President Biden reopens multinational talks with Iran on restoring nuclear agreement. Kansas City Chiefs retain Super Bowl title. House GOP ousts Rep. Liz Cheney as policy chair for "disloyalty" to former President Trump. Congress passes $2.2 trillion COVID-19 relief package. Trump holds first post-presidential rally in Iowa, says he may run again in 2024. House rejects Iowa Democrat's appeal of her six-vote election loss, but seats upstate New York Democrat after final recount shows he won by three votes.
March: Biden budget proposes tax hike for the wealthy. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's securities fraud trial finally takes place, and he is acquitted. Land Commissioner George P. Bush says he won't challenge Paxton in 2022. Major League Baseball announces fans with proof of COVID vaccinations can attend games starting April 1. Sen. Ted Cruz forms 2024 presidential exploratory committee but denies he has decided to run. Dallas Cowboys fire coach Mike McCarthy, hire Clemson's Dabo Swinney.
April: Monthly COVID deaths drop to lowest level in a year as FDA approves fifth vaccine maker. Biden's job approval at 57%. Ex-San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro says he will challenge Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in 2022. New Democratic Chair Jaime Harrison names panel to scrap Iowa and Nevada caucuses for 2024. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi resigns to become U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. Democrats pick Majority Whip Jim Clyburn as speaker over Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. Local Florida authorities rule Trump can't make Mar-a-Lago his full-time residence.
May: Russian President Vladimir Putin hosts former President Trump for Moscow May Day celebrations. After Israeli election produces another deadlock, two top parties ask Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner to form unity government. Paxton is indicted on federal charges of using his office to aid a contributor. In a reversal, George P. Bush says he will challenge Paxton in 2022 GOP primary. Trump re-establishes residence at New York's Trump Tower, announces candidacy for mayor. Cowboys trade Dak Prescott to Jacksonville, draft Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence.
June: Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley rents condo in Des Moines, Iowa, denies she has decided to seek presidency in 2024. Hunter Biden pleads guilty to failing to include overseas income in his tax returns; judge suspends his 18-month jail sentence when he agrees to work as an orderly in a COVID ward. State Sen. Jennifer McClellan upsets former Gov. Terry McAuliffe in Virginia Democratic primary. Los Angeles Lakers successfully defend NBA crown. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer announces retirement, effective with successor's confirmation.
July: President Biden, fulfilling pledge to name an African American woman, nominates U.S. District Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner of Georgia — Stacey Abrams' sister — for Breyer Supreme Court seat. Colorado Avalanche win Stanley Cup. Lara Trump announces candidacy for open North Carolina Senate seat. Using reconciliation procedure, Congress passes Biden economic program including sharp increase in taxes of wealthiest Americans as VP Harris breaks 50-50 Senate tie.
August: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says she'll seek 2024 GOP nomination, even if Trump runs. Ex-president calls for 2022 primary challenge to "disloyal RINO" (Republican in name only) Noem. New York District Attorney Cy Vance announces indictment of Trump organization on multiple charges dating back to 2013; former president accuses sons Donald Jr. and Eric of mismanaging the family business. China dominates Tokyo Olympics; Trump blames Barack Obama.
September: Entrepreneur Andrew Yang wins New York City Democratic mayoral primary. Ivanka Trump announces 2022 Florida primary challenge to Sen. Marco Rubio. L.A. Angels edge Texas Rangers for AL West crown. Senate confirms Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner for Supreme Court, 52-48.
October: New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announces Democratic primary challenge to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. San Diego Padres defeat Chicago White Sox in World Series. Iran agrees to renew nuclear agreement with U.S. and its allies. Economy soars as new COVID cases drop to single digits; Dow hits 35,000. Trump claims credit.
November: Yang edges Trump for New York City mayoralty; Trump charges fraud and sues for new election. McClellan elected Virginia's first Black woman governor. New Jersey re-elects Gov. Phil Murphy. After 10-month fruitless job search, Mike Pence applies for unemployment insurance. Senate hopeful AOC gets lost driving from Buffalo to Rochester, New York, winds up in southern Ontario.
December: New York Court of Appeals denies Trump election fraud suit. California Sen. Dianne Feinstein retires, Rep. Karen Bass named replacement. Waterloo, Iowa, radio station hires Pence to host talk show. Trump says he may challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2022.
Carl P. Leubsdorf is the former Washington bureau chief of the Dallas Morning News. He's at firstname.lastname@example.org.