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STORY BY ZACK STANTON

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Published on December 29, 2020 4:50 AM

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POLITICO illustration/AP, Getty Images, iStock
On the last day of 2019, President Donald Trump joined in on New Year's Eve celebrations at Mar-a-Lago, ringing in 2020 with what was, in retrospect, a terrible prediction about the year ahead.

"We're going to have a great year, I predict," the president told assembled guests. "I think it's going to be a fantastic year."

Over the last 12 months, a global pandemic has killed at least 1.65 million people, including more than 333,000 Americans. The economy cratered as people stayed home and commerce slowed. Schools were shuttered and classes held on Zoom — a video-conferencing company relatively few had heard of before March. Fire-choked air turned the sky orange on the West Coast. Saving the Postal Service became a political rallying cry. Moments of collective pride, like the Olympics, were cancelled. Trump himself became just the third president in American history to face an impeachment trial in the Senate, and, in November, became just the fourth president in the last 100 years to lose reelection.

With the benefit of hindsight, it was most certainly not a great year. In fairness, though: Who the hell could have accurately predicted what we experienced in 2020?

In an annual tradition, POLITICO Magazine decided to look back at some of the most audacious, confident and spectacularly incorrect prognostications about the year we just lived through. Here, 32 predictions about 2020 that weren't exactly made with 20/20 vision, if you will.

One of the more unexpected character arcs of the Trump era is the emergence of "Dilbert" creator Scott Adams as a pro-Trump political commentator. Adams, a "trained hypnotist" with a self-proclaimed expertise in the rhetorical dark arts, has made any number of dazzlingly confident predictions over the last four years. But few are quite as grim as his March 12 tweet predicting that before November 3, Sanders, Biden and Trump would all contract Covid-19 — and one of them would die from it.

It's December, the election is over, and all three men are still alive. Though Trump did contract coronavirus before Election Day, after a hospitalization and VIP treatment, he quickly recovered.