As a pundit, I feel dutybound to offer some sort of prediction for 2009. I certainly could do no worse than conservative columnist Cal Thomas did in the pages of USA Today (President Giuliani, no recession, Republicans regain control of Congress). So through the bleary hangover haze of early New Year’s Day, here are a few random predictions for the year.

  • Claire McCaskill’s popularity will continue to fall
  • McCaskill will remain a favorite on Sunday morning talk shows and on the national scene as a strong surrogate for Obama, but her popularity will continue to wane here in Missouri, her approval ratings bottoming out at a net negative 15 points. Being both the public face of Obama and the public face of concern over spending when the public wants more help, well, that’s not a way to win over Republicans or Democrats.

  • Jay Nixon will successfully tap Missouri’s rainy day fund
  • Republicans controlling the state legislature will be in no mood to raise taxes to cover budget shortfalls. The more savvy of the bunch will try to avoid looking like Blunt’s Grinch when he pushed social services cuts through in a far better economic climate.

  • Mizzou will again win the Big XII North Division and this year will finish in the Top 10
  • Many Mizzou fans are gloomy with the departure of Chase Daniel and Chase Coffman. But QB heir apparent Blaine Gabbert is a far better pure passer prospect than Daniel, and Mizzou’s recruiting has picked up with the successes of the last couple of years. A three-game stretch against Nebraska, at Oklahoma State, and again at home against Texas will tell if I’m right or not.

  • Hemlines will fall
  • Enough said.

    So what are your predictions for 2009?