No, "I'm not off my rocker," Ed Schultz told his radio listeners after making an off-the-wall prediction. Actually, two predictions -- that Hillary Clinton is a virtual shoo-in who will waltz back into the White House, and that Dick Cheney will cave to pressure from movement conservatives and run for president.
As for the first prediction, I vaguely recall many pundits saying much along the same lines ... back in 2007, followed by Clinton's highly-touted inevitability fading by the month after she was blinded-sided by an obscure senator from Illinois who could work a Teleprompter like none before him. (Audio clips after the jump)
But when it comes to that second prognostication -- you'll sooner see Cheney run the 800-meter hurdles in the next Summer Olympics.
Here's what Schultz said on his radio show Monday (audio) --
SCHULTZ: Now, I want to ask all of you a question. How would you feel, uh, this is a familiar voice now, this is a familiar voice. This is a guy who's been around a long time. And I'm just going to ask you listeners out there to just play with this idea a little bit. Really, nobody on the Republican side is jumping out of the box when it comes to the status of a Hillary, OK? The expectation of a Hillary, the experience of a Hillary Clinton, a for-sure candidate, almost a shoo-in to be president of the United States. I mean, I think that's how a lot of people are thinking about Hillary Clinton. I know that Joe Biden wants to run and there are some others out there as well, but let's face it -- this horse race might be over before the gun sounds.
But this voice right here, I think, for lack of a better term, is the dark horse in the race. Here it is --
CHARLIE ROSE, INTERVIEWING CHENEY ON 'FACE THE NATION': Tell me what our options are today?
CHENEY: Well, I think, I worry that when we begin to address a crisis, the first thing we do is taking options off the table. (alluding to situation in Crimea). I don't think the administration should do that and ...
ROSE: Have they done that?
CHENEY: Let's just say that no military, he seems to operate that way most of the time. There are military options that don't involve putting troops on the ground in Crimea.
SCHULTZ: That's right, folks -- I think Dick Cheney's running for president. I do. I think this guy's got his health back. This guy is far more experienced than any of the other Republican candidates. He loves the fight. He's engaged. He could raise a boatload of money. I know I'm scaring the hell out of you. But I gotta ask you -- what would it be like to have Dick Cheney as president? Holy smokes. Holy smokes! See, what do you think the conservatives would rather have -- Chris Christie or Dick Cheney? Marco Rubio or Dick Cheney? Scott Walker or Dick Cheney? Donald Trump or Dick Cheney? Who, tell me who, would outdo Dick Cheney's experience, I'm talking, from the conservative perspective?
Remember, he's got a new heart. Remember, he loves the fight. Remember, he likes to be the boss. Remember, he's connected to energy. Ooh, the Wall Street would love him. I'm just sayin', I don't think Dick Cheney's out of the mix.
Nor would Cheney need to run to remain in the mix. He could just keep doing what he's doing, weighing in as he sees fit, as he did on "Face the Nation" this past Sunday.
Schultz revisited his prediction later in the show and insisted he wasn't kidding (audio) --
Uh, look, I'm not off my rocker. I believe that yesterday's performance by Dick Cheney is just a big set up and a call out to American conservatives that (mimicking Cheney), I'm still here. I believe that if the conservative movement came to Cheney, and there will be some who will do this, eventually they'll get together and they'll say, would you ever consider, well, we'll do this this this and this, I think Cheney would run, I do. And I think you'd see corporate money flow like you've never seen before. And I think that it would be the epic battle between Cheney and whoever is on the Democratic side.
Uh, weren't you just saying that it's all but certain the Democratic nominee (and next president) will be Hillary ...?
If Cheney wanted to become president, he probably would have done so in 2008. Twice in the last half century, former vice presidents have run for the highest office, successfully in 1968 (Nixon, eight years after leaving office) and disastrously in 1984 (Mondale, four years after).
But Cheney's age (73) and chronic bad ticker (five heart attacks, his first at age 37; heart transplant at 71) make it exceedingly unlikely that he'd take on the grueling rigors of a presidential campaign. Many things can be said about the man; that he's possessed of a death wish isn't one of them.