If McCain wins… a few predictions

t’s November 5, the day after the election, and a bleary-eyed America wakes up to find a new president for the first time in eight years. After a flirtatious bout with a young Illinois senator, voters chose the traditional military hero—Arizona Sen. John McCain.

What’s next? Here are a few not-so-serious predictions.

A post-election analysis shows conservatives flocked to the polls—not to vote for McCain—but to support his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Yet, proving McCain’s maverick nature, Palin isn’t used as a governing partner. Instead, Palin and the new First Lady Cindy McCain team up to tackle literacy. Conservatives feel betrayed.

Sen. Hillary Clinton immediately announces she’s running for president in 2012. The new campaign starts with a call for “change” even though McCain hasn’t even begun to govern the country. Fox News spends an hour each night debating former President Bill Clinton’s role in the new campaign.

In Wisconsin, Gov. Jim Doyle must shift gears. He won’t get that coveted Obama administration appointment. He might as well run for governor again in 2010.

McCain appoints Obama supporter Warren Buffett Treasury Secretary to deal with the sagging economy. He proposes a second $700-billion bailout package to the financial institutions. Wall Street cheers as a Democratic Congress approves but the American public sees it differently, leading to huge GOP gains in the midterm elections.

Kelsey Grammer and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson start a new movement in Hollywood and a new political action committee titled Stars Who Lean to the Right are Right.

Gas prices, which had plummeted to $2.50 by Election Day, rise sharply shortly thereafter. As angry voters lose more of their paychecks to gas guzzlers, the new president approves a dramatic increase in off-shore drilling. Much to everyone’s surprise, no one can find any new oil. McCain asks his staff, “What was the Pickens Plan all about?”

After losing in the ratings on election night, Wolf Blitzer tells his CNN bosses he’s no longer comfortable saying his colleagues are the “best political team in television.” He’ll now refer to them as “one of the better teams” on TV.

And as John McCain packs up to move into the White House he and his wife still aren’t sure how many homes they actually own.

Colin Benedict is WISC-TV’s news director. He’s lived in the Madison area since 1995. E-mail him at cbenedict@wisctv.com.