It was about a year ago at this time when the telephone at this desk began ringing, with several not-so-happy voices on the other end.
Each of them — about 12 or 13 in all — wanted to let me know how foolish I was for predicting Obama would be re-elected president. One gentleman was willing to wager $10,000. Perhaps I should have taken that bet.
Now, that truly would have been foolish. Anyone who tells you they can accurately predict the future is fooling themselves. Yet, this column gives me a once-a-year chance to try my luck. Obama being elected was a one of several winners from last year.
Overall, it was a good year. But you’ll never hear me say “I told you so” because next year it could go 180 degrees in a different direction.
Before looking ahead to 2013, let’s quickly review 2012 guesses.
Obama was re-elected, and I noted then that it may have more to do with a weak Republican field than resounding support for the president. I was right on both counts.
On the economic front, the predictions were the unemployment rate would fall below 7.5 percent and be better than the national rate; Navistar would have at least 900 workers at its Barton plant by the end of 2012; and two or more local businesses would expand by at least 30-40 jobs.
November’s unemployment rate was 5.9 percent in Lauderdale County, 6.7 percent in Colbert and 7.4 percent in Franklin. Navistar has not delivered the anticipated jobs, but Walgreens, Firestone, Wise Alloys and North American Lighting are among five or six companies that expanded during the year.
Legislative and congressional redistricting was a disaster for the Shoals, and state Sen. Tammy Irons’s district now includes a portion of Limestone County. Also, Alabama won the national championship earlier this year.
On to this year, when you can expect: