More went wrong than right in 2013. What about 2014?
January: Auburn wins college football title over Florida State in third overtime, 63-60. White House announces 1.7 million signed up for Obamacare. Republicans say 6.2 million lost insurance. Reconvening after one-month vacation, Congress fails to fund December budget deal, shutting down government again. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones fires Coach Jason Garrett. Obama says in State of the Union speech that health plan is “on track” and renews calls for increased checks on gun sales and a comprehensive immigration bill.
February: Seattle wins Super Bowl. That night, White House concedes it erred in Obamacare totals, lowering signees to 1.2 million. After two-week shutdown, Congress passes initially rejected funding bill, reopening government. Speaker John Boehner says he won’t seek re-election. Making 10-day New Hampshire visit, Hillary Clinton says the purpose of the trip is to improve her skiing. House votes for 50th time to shut down Obamacare, then leaves on two-week vacation.
March: Sen. John Cornyn wins Texas GOP primary with 63 percent of the vote. Rep. Steve Stockman, second with 22 percent, asks for a recount. U.S. and Iran extend nuclear talks. After President Obama vetoes new sanctions, Congress passes non-binding resolution saying they’re necessary. Republican refusal to increase debt ceiling shuts down government again. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announces retirement from “ungovernable” House.
April: Recount raises Stockman proportion to 23 percent. Former University of Texas football coach Mack Brown named Dallas Cowboys coach. House Judiciary Committee rejects citizenship for illegal immigrants but approves more border guards. Surge of late enrollees brings Obamacare enrollment to 5.4 million, higher than critics expected but below 7 million goal. GOP says 7.8 million lost insurance.
May: Compromise debt ceiling increase ends latest shutdown in time for Congress’ two-week Memorial Day “district work period.” Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III urges changing team’s name. Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell edges tea party rival, 53 percent to 47 percent, in Kentucky primary. House passes GOP border security bill.
June: Tea party-backed state Sen. Chris McDaniel unseats Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran for group’s first 2014 victory. Washington Post discloses 40 percent of Redskins’ ticket holders reject renewals. Spending week in Iowa, Hillary Clinton says she is practicing for Great Bicycle Race across first caucus state. Oklahoma City wins NBA title, and Anaheim captures NHL.
July: Justice Anthony Kennedy, often the Supreme Court’s swing vote, retires. Iran reaches agreement with the United States and other nuclear powers to curb its nuclear program. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounces it. Congressman Paul Ryan says he’ll run for speaker if GOP keeps House control. Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder changes team name to Washington Warriors.
August: GOP House conservatives vow to challenge Ryan, declaring “we don’t need a big spender as our leader.” Redskins ticket sales rebound. “Security concerns” force Hillary Clinton to abandon plans for bike race. Instead, she spends week at Iowa State Fair. Stalemated Senate-House conferees abandon talks seeking immigration compromise.
September: In effort aimed at conciliation, Obama nominates former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to return to Supreme Court. Republicans say they’ll block her as “too liberal.” Hillary Clinton, spending week in South Carolina, says she’s boning up on skeet shooting. Israeli coalition forces Netanyahu’s ouster. Oakland edges Texas Rangers in AL West by one game.
October: Before House adjourns, Boehner and Ryan engineer acceptance with Democratic votes of comprehensive immigration bill to improve party’s image with Hispanics. Conservatives vow retribution. Washington Nationals win World Series. At request of party leaders, Obama spends two pre-election weeks on lengthy Asian trip.
November: Write-in voters give outgoing Gov. Rick Perry 15 percent in governor’s race, telling exit pollers they don’t want him to leave and enabling Democrat state Sen. Wendy Davis to slip by Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott by 2 percent. Republicans hold U.S. House, gaining three seats. Republicans oust six Democratic senators, but Democrats keep control when Alison Grimes edges GOP leader McConnell by 4,300 votes in Kentucky. Republican governors hold Ohio and Wisconsin, but Democrats regain Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania and retain New York and California.
December: With McConnell gone, Texas Sen. John Cornyn is elected Republican leader, rebuffing spirited challenge from fellow Texan Ted Cruz. Carrying out retribution vow, House tea partyers enable Texas Congressman Pete Sessions to edge Ryan for speakership. Democrats oust Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and elect Congressman Chris Van Hollen to succeed her. Hillary Clinton forms presidential exploratory committee. So do 12 Republicans, including Texans Perry and Cruz. Resurgent Washington Warriors edge Cowboys in NFL East.
Carl P. Leubsdorf is the former Washington bureau chief of the Dallas Morning News. Readers may write to him via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.