The Shape of 2008

Hold on to your seats, here comes 2008. This year comes packed with the promise of great news stories waiting to be unearthed and told. Just look at what lies ahead …

In politics, the growing prospect of Michael Bloomberg entering the presidential race may be good news for New Yorkers. Will the rest of the country discover that a billionaire can sometimes make a better politician than a politician who must beg and borrow from billionaires?

Will Senator Barack Obama be elected the country’s first black president and appoint Oprah Winfrey secretary of state, thereby transforming in an instant the world’s low opinion of the United States of America? Or will Senator Hillary Clinton become our first female president? And if she does, will Senator Chuck Schumer modestly announce that he will fill Mrs. Clinton’s Senate seat, thereby being the first person to hold two Senate seats at the same time? And will Bill Clinton deliver the nominating speech for his wife’s presidential candidacy and speak for three hours, describing his own role in the White House and what he plans to do when Hillary is elected? And will no one have the guts to interrupt him, so that he effectively prevents the delegates from actually voting in favor of his wife’s nomination? On the Republican side, will former Mayor Rudy Giuliani pull off a win in Florida and bizarrely become the “sane” alternative to Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee? Or will John McCain knock them all out of the box?

In sports, the Beijing Olympics are on the horizon. Given reports of hazardous air pollution, will the U.S. Olympic Committee issue gas masks to all American athletes? Will NBC employees providing television coverage of the games be likewise outfitted?

Speaking of television, will 2008 be the year Regis Philbin replaces Katie Couric as the anchor of the CBS Evening News, boosting ratings by a million households after one week? Will the Hollywood writers and studios settle the strike, or will we start receiving all of our entertainment from India’s Bollywood, just as we currently get all of our best tech advice from New Delhi?

Then there’s Pope Benedict’s highly anticipated visit to New York in April, when he will lead a mass at Yankee Stadium, thereby becoming one of the few people working from the pitcher’s mound who does not use steroids or human growth hormones.

In more mundane matters, will Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt donate their baby carriages to Jessica Seinfeld at a major charity event held at the Guggenheim, and will the museum then open a new exhibit of baby carriages?

The mind reels at what 2008 has in store. Whatever comes along, there’s no better front-row seat than New York City.