With the start of the New Year soon, I give you my “Things to Watch for in 2013″ blog post:

1. The Unemployment Rate
Whether or not we go off the Fiscal Cliff, the unemployment rate will rise. If we go over the Fiscal Cliff, it will rise to 9.1%. If we reach a deal, the rate will rise to 8.4%, but then have a larger rise several months later, as we will reach a new Fiscal Cliff and debt ceiling debate. The unemployment rate will have this general rise because of the fiscal and monetary policies coming out of the White House.

2. Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton recently has had a major swing of health issues. First, she had food poisoning. Then, an illness confining her to her home, causing her to fall, leaving her with a concussion. Now, she is in the hospital because of a blood clot. She will eventually testify on Benghazi, which may indicate her political standing for future candidacy. Be sure to watch her political moves, as she will be actively preparing herself for 2016.

3. The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is set to rule on Affirmative Action and Gay Marriage in 2013. These rulings will have a monumental role in American politics, as there will be minimal Gay Marriage debate in the midterm elections. No matter the ruling, politically, this will benefit the Republican Party, as Gay Marriage will no longer be an issue taking precedent among the congressional candidates.

4. Presidential Exploratory Committees
The first Presidential Exploratory Committees will begin forming in late, late 2013. There won’t be many formed in 2013, but candidates are forming the committees earlier and earlier every election. I believe that at least one of the following people will form a PEC in 2013:
-Bobby Jindal
-Martin O’Malley
-Rick Santorum
-Julian Castro

5. General American Foreign Policy
Between 2000-2001, President George W. Bush ran his foreign policy using a Cold-War platform, focusing entirely on nation-state threats. After 9/11, there was a swift conversion, and he formed a smaller ideological-group position Foreign Policy, focusing more on terrorist groups (This is how the Counterterrorism Center was formed), with a smaller emphasis on nation-state threats. President Obama has been running an entirely ideological-group position Foreign Policy, focusing nearly 100% on cultural groups. This strong neglect of nation-state threats will be interesting to study in 2013, with many evolving threats, such as Iran and North Korea.

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