WASHINGTON (CNN) - You know, people will insist that 2008 had 366 days. I don't believe it. I think it had 36,066 days.
It certainly felt much longer than any year that I've ever experienced. Only time will tell what's in store for us in 2009, but first I have a few predictions.
Internationally, I believe there will be a peace agreement between Israel and Syria in the next 18 months. It is something that will be a priority for the incoming Obama administration.
In domestic politics, my first prediction is one that pains me to make, but I'll make it anyway.
The Democratic Party has had a recent run of corruption and sex scandals. Mathematicians say that there are no such things as streaks and that the last event has nothing to do with the next. The only people who disagree are crapshooters and political operatives. Since I am both, I firmly believe that there are streaks and that political scandals happen in clusters.
(CNN) - This past year was full of unexpected twists and turns on the campaign trail.
With a new president taking over and a host of problems awaiting him, there's no telling what will happen in 2009.
CNN's political analysts and contributors offered up some of their predictions for the upcoming year:
(CNN) – Indie rocker Pete Yorn was depressed. He woke up in Hawaii on the Fourth of July and read the paper. There was a short article about an Optimist Club disbanding .
“Even they were going bad, on the economy and the state of union, and everyone was just kind of freaking out, ” he said.
So he did what indie rockers do: He knocked out a song and sent it to a few friends.
He says he wrote the song, "American Blues Vol. 1," in about five minutes.
“It was a beautiful paradise and it hit home even more for me. I was feeling all this negativity in such a beautiful place,” he told CNN by phone from Omaha, Nebraska, where he’s working on his next album.
The song touches on the campaign and the economic crisis with lines like: “You love your house/Now give it back,” and “keep beaming through the pledge of allegiance cos you aint dead yet.”
Yorn is a Gold Record-selling artist signed to Columbia records, but he put this song out on his own.
ATLANTA (CNN) - I’m not exactly sure how it happened. But yesterday I found myself involved in an intense discussion about politics in the middle of the newsroom with…. Wait for it…. rapper Ludacris and rocker Tommy Lee. The two men were here to promote their new reality show “Battleground Earth.” In the show both artists try to out green each other while trying to coax viewers into environmental consciousness.
Out of the gate I asked about green backlash. Many people feel like this entire “going green” movement has become more marketing than reality. They agreed that while people might see it that way, it’s not necessarily so, at least in their view.
Tommy Lee admits he’s not a political junkie - he says he rarely watches television or listens to news reports. So he had no opinion on the presidential candidates’ environmental policies. In fact, he had no opinions on any of their policies. “Man, tell you the truth, I only listen to music,” he said in front of the entire room and about four cameras. He seemed sincere. I didn’t press him.
Ludacris, however, was very opinionated. He very strongly said to me, “I support Barack Obama.” He is happy with Obama’s environmental policies, and keenly aware of just how much attention this election is garnering from the American people. But when I tried to press him on other issues like race, religion and HIV in the black community, he steered the conversation back to his stance on the environment. He did promise, however, to address those issues with me in another interview at another time. Smooth. Ludacris has come a long way in a short time: from rapper to social activist to environmental cheerleader.
As he and Tommy Lee walked off, entourage and reality TV cameras in tow, I thought to myself: if someone had told me at breakfast that I’d be talking with Tommy Lee and Ludacris later in the day about the environment and politics I would have called them a liar, which just goes to show, you never know. For hanging out just a bit with music superstars, I got mad props from my colleagues here at CNN.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Shortly before leaving the White House in 1829, John Quincy Adams reportedly said, "There is nothing more pathetic in life than a former president."
If he had had a crystal ball, Adams might have tweaked that statement to say there is nothing more lucrative in life than to be a former president.
Last Friday, we learned that the Clintons have made a whopping $109 million since 2001. Bill Clinton has brought in almost $52 million from speeches generally going for $250,000 a pop.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain and the nearly 20-plus other presidential hopefuls were not the only politicians participating in the money chase last year. Congressional candidates – incumbents and challengers – raised more than $500 million for their own campaigns in 2007, according to a new analysis released by the Federal Election Commission.
After crunching the numbers, the FEC concluded that candidates running for the Senate raised $164.5 million last year, while those seeking House seats took in nearly $343 million. The 2007 House total is a 22 percent increase from 2005 – the most recent comparable year. As the FEC notes it is difficult to compare Senate data to previous election cycles because different states hold contests every two years.
The FEC looked at 102 Senate and 929 House candidates.
Read the highlights after the jump