MSNBC's Chris Matthews made a bold prediction on Wednesday's Hardball.
"The hard-right is going to take over the Republican Party in 2016 and the nomination is going to Rand Paul" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this. I’ve been offering a prediction of late. Let me nail it down now. I believe the Republican Party is going to go hard-right in 2016. It’s going to run someone from the growing hard-right wing of the Party, something it hasn't done since 1980. And here's the thinking which works equally well for the Democrats.
Parties as you've noticed face a conflict every four years. Should they run someone who represents their strongest passions right or left, or do they run someone who appeals to the middle? Most of the time they head to the middle. And this is what Republicans did most successfully in 1952 when after 20 years of FDR and Harry Truman, they wanted back in the White House. They ran the General who received the Nazi surrender. And guess what? They won. In 1956 and ’60, they stuck to the middle with Ike the second time, and then with Richard Nixon.
In '64 the right said it was its turn and blew the roof off the Cow Palace in San Francisco mocking Republican moderates and liberals like New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller. Then getting killed with Barry Goldwater running against Lyndon Johnson.
The Democrats ran moderates in ’60 and ’64 and ’68, but then went wild in '72 and ran anti-Vietnam warrior George McGovern of South Dakota. That's the year the Democrats got killed.
And so then the pendulum goes. The party bases get pushed aside for several elections and finally build up like steam much like a volcano and come roaring to the surface. Obama won in 2008 over Hillary Clinton because the opponents of the Iraq war had had it with the party leaders who played it safe and backed the war.
I believe the Republican base will do the same in 2016. They put up with George Bush the first, put up with Bob Dole, were deeply disappointed with the big-spending George W, and last year again by Mitt Romney, and are now going to come loaded for bear for the race for 2016.
So I predict the hard-right is going to take over the Republican Party in 2016 and the nomination is going to Rand Paul. You watch. This is what I do for a living.
I'm quite sure there are a lot of conservatives that hope Matthews is right for a change.