The Republican Party establishment was pinning its 2016 hopes on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, but he’s toast after his gushing over President Obama during Hurricane Sandy right before the election. Jeb Bush is a non-starter for everyone not named Bush, and they know that, too. They need to sink their claws into someone younger and more palatable to the base after consecutive defeats. Sensing an opportunity, two men liked by many grassroots conservatives, but who have also shown at times they are willing to do business with the party establishment, will vie to fill that void with an eye toward 2016—Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan. Both will look to cash in on their conservative street cred by campaigning for solutions (see that as moderation) on key issues like taxes and spending and immigration, in an effort to appease the beltway culture and insiders. Case in point: Rubio’s already hired a senior adviser whose previous employers were establishmentarian moderates/RINOs John McCain, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jeb Bush.
6. Syria Goes the Way of Egypt
With his allies in Russia conceding he’s doomed, it’s obvious Bashar al-Assad’s days as Syria’s dictator are numbered. Look for the two-year civil war he has waged with rebels to finally topple him in 2013, but look for something even worse to take his place. With al-Qaeda operatives infiltrating the ranks of the Syrian “freedom fighters,” and with the American people suffering from Middle East nation building fatigue, another Muslim Brotherhood-type regime will emerge in Syria just as we saw in Egypt.