I, Publius: New Year's hopes, fears and fantasies



It is appropriate that on the first week of the New Year, I offer my annual predictions. I really don’t want some of them to happen so I predict them in order to put the whammy on them. Others I offer in hopes that they will happen and finally, there are those predictions that I believe really will happen. It is up to you to figure out which is which.

I predict that the Democrats will nominate Martha Coakley as their gubernatorial candidate. It will be a very close election but she will win. The Republicans will search in vain for a candidate. Scott Brown will be unavailable because he will be a resident of New Hampshire, where he will run for the United States Senate against Jeanne Shaheen, the incumbent. She will win and he will move back to Massachusetts, cursing the people of the Granite State.

Hillary Clinton will lock up the 2016 Democratic candidacy for president and the Republicans will choose Chris Christie. Clinton will urge Gov. Deval Patrick to accept the vice presidential nomination. Her brain trust will recognize that one of the best ways to bring diverse voters out will be to have the brilliant Patrick, who happens to be African-American, on the ticket. Patrick will protest that he doesn’t want to run but in the interest of the party, he will accept the position with some definite provisions in the deal about what the job will entail.

Two members of the Massachusetts Legislature will be arrested and jailed. At least one reader of this column will say, "Cheap shot. That almost always happens."

State Sen. Benjamin B. Downing will attempt a statewide run, a daring move for someone who doesn’t come from Boston or the environs. That will leave his seat open. It will be claimed by William "Smitty" Pignatelli, who will be elected because of his well-deserved popularity. When it appears that the popular Downing will not get the statewide nomination he seeks, he will reverse tracks and try to reclaim his seat but it will be too late.

The first generation of self-driving cars will be tested on the road.

People will be allowed to use their electronic devices on airplanes, with the exception of their cellphones. One poll after another will demonstrate that people do not want to sit next to someone saying, "And then, like, I’m like, and he goes oh my gawd and I’m all like ... ."

A small regional town newspaper will be put out of business when a former Eagle editor who then went to work for the regional paper starts a competing paper.

The wonderful Norman Rockwell Museum will mount an original exhibition of medical illustrations featuring the work of award-winning artist William Westwood. The White House will honor the museum and the museum’s director, Laurie Norton Moffatt, will receive another major honor from President Obama. Accompanying Moffatt will be Stephanie Plunkett, the curator.

The museum will make it clear that a recent biography of the great artist was out of line in suggesting that the illustrator was gay and a pedophile despite the fact that there was absolutely no proof that was true.

The long awaited Main Street reconstruction in Great Barrington will commence and leave a lot of people looking for ways around Great Barrington. Business will suffer.

A founder of a Shakespearian company will return to the helm she deserted. People will say, "I told you so."

The Berkshire Hills Regional School District and the Southern Berkshire District will finally announce plans to combine. The state will insist on it.

The Great Barrington Mason Library will announce new expanded hours.

A Yale law school graduate will announce his candidacy for town selectman in Great Barrington. His wife will serve as his campaign manager.

You, dear readers, will have a healthy and happy new year.

Alan Chartock, a Great Barrington resident, is president and CEO of WAMC Northeast Public Radio and a professor emeritus of communications at SUNY-Albany.


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