President Barack Obama addresses a joint session of Congress*Let’s face it: an odd-numbered year in politics is just not going to be as exciting as those election years.

There are no more debates, no more commercials, no more proclamations, no more Nate Silver … it’s just doesn’t spark as 2012 did or 2016 will.

That doesn’t mean this year isn’t full of big, important political events, though. Let’s take a look at our big four predictions for the 2013 political year.

1.Obama takes charge. Time’s newly-crowned “Person of the Year” will finally be free of the election-year baggage. Look for him to institute a broad, ambitious platform throughout 2013. After the tragedy in Newtown, a forceful offensive on assault weapons and guns is tops on the list; fixing the “fiscal cliff” before its plunge and tweaking his cabinet are right up there, too. Look for some rumblings on immigration, too. It’s shaping up to be a defining year for Obama.

2.Two very different black politicians make waves. In New Jersey, the high-profile Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker will lay the groundwork for a 2014 Senate run and in South Carolina, conservative Republican Tim Scott will replace Jim DeMint in the U.S. Senate. Could these two face off for the presidency one day?

3.The most intriguing state? Massachusetts. With the likely ascension of John Kerry to Secretary of State, the Bay State will probably have an open senate seat in 2013. The appointment (if it happens) opens up a huge range of possibilities. A special election (probably around June) would be held to fill that influential post; for the Republicans, the likely nominee would be Scott Brown, who was just defeated by Elizabeth Warren for a seat in the senate in the last election. Brown, one of the few moderate conservative voices in the Senate, still has some popularity in the deep-blue state. It’s not crazy to think that he could serve next to Warren come the fall. As for the Democratic candidates … well, just check out the names mentioned. There’s two Kennedys (the beloved Ted’s son and wife), a few local rising stars (Mike Capuano, Stephen Lynch) and even Hollywood superstardom – Ben Affleck isn’t outright denying his interest in the seat. An Oscar and a Senate seat in the same year?

4.Fox News‘ descent into irrelevancy. The cracks in the right-wing organization have been there for years, but the channel’s election coverage really exposed its flaws to the world. Witness “expert” Dick Morris flailing about and Karl Rove’s jaw-dropping election night tantrum. The network’s blind faith towards conservatism has turned into a televised joke – and more and more people are waking up to it.