CNN asked 13 of its commentators for their opinions about how the world will look in 2017. Those who provided answers include Paul Callan, Lanhee Chen, Danny Cevallos, S.E. Cupp, Roxanne Jones, Frida Ghitis, Peniel Joseph, Dean Obeidallah, Mel Robbins, Paul Reyes, Jeff Yang, Tara Setmayer, and Timothy Stanley.
The first question asked of each of the CNN commentators was with regard to which country President-elect Donald Trump will make his first official visit as president. The most common answer, given by S.E. Cupp, Robbins, Joseph, and Obeidallah, was that the president-elect’s first stop will be in Russia, to meet with President Vladimir Putin. Reyes and Cevallos each mentioned a visit with Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte as likely to top the incoming president’s travel itinerary. Callan, Chen, Cupp, and Jones, all included Israel as among likely first destinations for Trump in their 2017 predictions. Danny Cevallos pointed to the fact that Trump has already been to Mexico to visit with President Enrique Peña Niet, holding the trip up as evidence that the president-elect likely does not feel “bound by tradition.”
“Mexico or Israel,” was Tara Setmayer’s response.
Timothy Stanley and S.E. Cupp also felt that there is a possibility that the first country Trump visits could be the United Kingdom. Frida Ghitis was the lone CNN panelist to name China as a possible first destination for the president-elect. Jeff Yang’s prediction is that Donald Trump’s first presidential destination “depends on where he wants to build his next hotel.”
The New England Patriots were the most-often named 2017 Super Bowl champions, put forward with predictions by Callan, Cupp, Cevallos, Robbins, and Ghitis. The New York Giants were the second most-often named Super Bowl champs, forecast by Joseph, Obeidallah. Chen picked the Oakland Raiders. Jones picked the Pittsburgh Steelers. Reyes picked the Dallas Cowboys. Setmayer picked the Kansas City Chiefs.
Jeff Yang described a Super Bowl “showdown that sums up the jingoist/masculine-defensive spirit of these Trumpian times,” between the Cowboys and the Patriots, who will refuse to compete, choosing instead to unite forces against the “R__skins” and “the Browns.”
La La Land was the most popular picture in the running for 2017 Best Picture predictions at the Academy Awards, named by Stanley, Setmayer, Reyes, and Robbins. Moonlight was mentioned by Yang, Joseph, and Chen. Fences was also named as being in contention by Yang and Jones. Silence was Callan’s choice; Manchester by the Sea, Cevallos’; and films belonging to the Star Wars franchise, Cupp’s and Obeidallah’s. Lion was Frida Ghitis’ prediction for Best Picture in 2017.
Paul Callan and Lanhee Chen were the only two among the 13 who did not name Serena Williams as their choice for women’s 2017 Wimbledon Champion, picking Angelique Kerber and Madison Keys, respectively. Views for the men’s title were split between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, with Callan, Cevallos, Chen, Cupp, Setmayer, and Stanley naming the former, and Yang, Reyes, Joseph, and Ghitis naming the latter. Roger Federer was Jones’ pick, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Robbins’.
Predictions for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize included the Syrian White Helmets, German chancellor Angela Merkel, and Pope Francis. Merkel was named by Jones and Callan. Pope Francis was named by Chen, Robbins, and Reyes. Cupp and Ghitis picked the the White Helmets, while Stanley professed a hope that a group “responsible for bringing peace and transition to Syria” wins. Founder of the Equal Justice Institute, Bryan Stevenson, was Peniel Joseph’s 2017 Nobel Peace Prize choice. Others, sarcastically, or morosely, reflected on the possibility of Donald Trump winning the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Chicago Cubs were the most-often named as likely 2017 World Series champs, picked by Jones, Ghitis, Callan, Robbins, Reyes, and Cevallos. Setmayer and Yang see the New York Yankees as champs in 2017. The New York Mets are viewed as third-most-likely to win the 2017 World Series, making the grade for Cupp and Obeidallah. Lanhee Che’s pick is the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Opinions on whether the Dow Jones Industrial Average will rise or fall were divided: those seeing the average closing higher at the end of 2017 included Callan, Chen, Ghitis, Jones, Joseph, Obeidallah, Cupp, and Stanley; those seeing it lower included Setmayer, Robbins, Reyes, and Cevallos.
The final 2017 prediction posed to the CNN commentators was with regard to where President-elect Donald Trump’s approval rating will be at the end of the year: Callan sees 55 percent; Cevallos sees 35 percent; Chen is calling for 50 percent; Cupp, 60-plus percent; Ghitis, 34 percent; Jones, 40 percent; Joseph, 50 percent; Obeidallah is calling for the “all-time lowest;” Reyes sees 40 percent; Robbins predicts 43 percent; Setmayer, 35 percent; Stanley, 55 percent; and Jeff Yang asked, “Can it be negative?”
[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]