2012: An upheaval of monumental proportions

Armstrong Williams | 12/29/2011, 2:09 p.m.

It's that time of year: time to take stock of 2011 and prepare to ring in a much-welcomed 2012. For millions of Americans, the new year can't come soon enough, leaving behind a miserable era of leadership-by this Congress, this president, our college sports coaches, some doctors (see: M. Jackson), financial leaders-the list seems endless.

But first, let's get some early sports predictions out of the way. It's not my strong suit, but hey, this is my column, and I feel good about the picks.

BCS National Championship Bowl: Alabama will once again go up against LSU in a clash of two titan college football teams. I have the Crimson Tide rolling over the Tigers to win the national championship.

Super Bowl: I have a good feeling about Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his deft throwing arm. While they won't secure a perfect season (breathe easy, Miami Dolphins!), I believe the Packers will win another Super Bowl championship in classic Lombardi fashion.

Now on to the serious issues facing the nation in 2012.

Next year will culminate in a presidential election that I believe will mark the beginning of a political upheaval of both parties. Expect jarring aftershocks come November that will reverberate throughout the country well into 2013. What will result from that election, in terms of what sets this country on the right path again, is unclear, like swamp water. But change is a-comin' and our elected leaders had better pay attention this time.

A few observations that will set the stage, followed by my views on which leaders will rise and fall throughout the year:

Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton: Put simply, Clinton has been the consistently bright spot in an otherwise dimly lit Cabinet. President Barack Obama hasn't exactly led the world on key economic issues (remember France's Nicolas Sarkozy lecturing the U.S. on fiscal responsibility?), but Clinton has been the steady hand on the diplomatic ship. I suspect she'll leave the administration by the summer, but with some of the highest praise from the international community and diplomatic corps.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor: Cantor will continue to prove he is capable of leading his unruly band of House Republicans through the legislative traps Democrats will set for him. While I haven't been so enamored with the internal politics between Cantor and Speaker John Boehner, I do believe him when he says much of that is blown out of proportion. I see Cantor as a tour de force in 2012, a cavalier of sorts who is ready to engage Democrats.

Rep. Paul Ryan: Ryan has the Medicare Midas touch, and he's going to need it. Medicare is going bankrupt. Ryan knows that and genuinely wants to fix the program. Next year could be the time when planets align, parties set their guns down and finally come together to enact some long-term solutions for the health care program.

Vice President Joe Biden: Let's face it, Biden jumped the shark soon after his successful VP debates against Gov. Sarah Palin. He's had ample opportunities to lead (stimulus, debt panels, etc.) and has failed abysmally. He may well be remembered for his lucid and sometimes unwelcome candor, but not much else.