Will Bush dump Cheney in mid-stream?

I sure hope not, since Cheney’s on his way to becoming a major liability to the ticket, especially when compared to the sunshiny, lovable Edwards. Just imagine 230 million people watching the two of them side by side debating. Which one will make a better impression and win their hearts? (Here’s a hint: If the answer were Cheney, there’s no way the GOP would be flooding the airwaves and the Internet with non-stop attacks on Edwards.)

One well-known Silicon Valley voice contemplates this issue today and tries to determine which ways the political winds are blowing. I like her humor.

Talk of Republicans changing vice presidents in mid-stream is making the rounds. The boys at Unfogged put their version up yesterday. Everybody agrees that Cheney’s failing health is a good excuse. The FogHeads like Condi, not Colin. But even Deb Saunders – who holds down the moderate to conservative corner at the Chron – thinks Cheney oughta go.

It’s more of a problem now that John Edwards really is John Kerry’s running mate. What’s Cheney going to do? Refuse to debate? Stand there and say “Go Fuck Yourself”? every time Edwards says something about Haliburton? Or the CIA? Or those elusive weapons of mass destruction? Or Neocons? Or out-sourcing? [Emphasis added.]

I can’t really see much advantage to bringing Condi on the ticket, especially after she lost so much credibility during the 9/11 hearings, not to mention the build-up to Iraq (remember her “mushroom-cloud” warning?). Now, if Bush could get McCain on the ticket, then we would have a race to savor. McCain doesn’t cut it with the religious right, however, and I’d like to think he would just say no.

No matter who the potential replacement might be, I think we’re going to see the Dump Cheney movement pick up a lot of momentum. He simply scares people, and with damn good reason.

Update: Wow! It looks like influential Republicans are reading my blog.

The Discussion: 13 Comments

I doubt we’d actually see Bush have the guts for dumping the old ball-and-Cheney, but the idea is indeed very intriguing. McCain, Powell, or even Condi Rice would bring far more appeal to the moderate fence-riders, and Cheney seems lile a big liability to Bush’s ticket regardless. In the end, Bush is probably too afraid to dump him in mid-stream for fear of being criticized as having made a bad decision in the first place.

July 7, 2004 @ 4:29 pm | Comment

I don’t think Dubya will have any input into the decision. Just like he had very little decision on his VP candidate when he first ran, it doesn’t look like he’ll have much input this time.

Plus, Dubya isn’t going to have to make that hard decision. If it’s going to happen, Cheney will step down for “health reasons.”

July 7, 2004 @ 5:45 pm | Comment

Jeremy’s right. Very convenient.

July 7, 2004 @ 9:35 pm | Comment

I really don’t see what Cheney will gain by staying on the ticket. His purpose was to give Bush credibility. Bush has four years behind him and now he can stand on his own. I suspect Cheney has no intentions to run for president in 2008. He’s a team guy and I think he’s tired. I’ve a hunch Cheney will stay on as a hatchet man for Bush and try to inflict as much damage on Kerry/Edwards before going out in a blaze of glory just before the Republican convention and allow Bush to replace a selected heir on the ticket. Voila! You have a fresh ticket cleared of all the negativity and a much better shot at the White House. Colin Powell it won’t be considering the way he has been sidelined. I’ve got my eye on Condi and Giuliani. Putting McCain on the ticket would probably be the smartest move because it would give him a two punch: shut up McCain and deliver a blow to Kerry who allegedly tried to recruit him. But Bush values loyalty too much.
If Cheney does stay on the ticket I suspect the family is attempting to clear the field of potential challengers to brother Jeb. Just what we need, another Bush in the White House.

July 8, 2004 @ 12:53 am | Comment

Brian, good take except for Jeb (no way.) Better picks than Cheney; good list, but I wonder if they’ve made secret overtures to Lieberman (now there’s a conspiracy theory for you)

Vaclav Havel for President!


July 8, 2004 @ 1:07 am | Comment

I assume Brian was referring to the 2008 election. The CW is that Jeb Bush will be running for the GOP nomination then.

July 8, 2004 @ 6:56 am | Comment

Brian, great points! No, McCain could never pass the loyalty litmus test. He was one of the most outspoken critics of the military’s handling of Abu Ghraib and Rumsfeld must loathe him. And Jeb is surely being primed for 2008 — a dynasty does not give up its power easily.

Shen, Havel is probably too old to run for president, and he is foreign-born. Try again.

July 8, 2004 @ 8:37 am | Comment

In addition to being too old, too foreign, and too enamored of tobacco (the U.S. will never have again have a President who smokes), Havel is too much of a freethinker.

July 8, 2004 @ 8:59 am | Comment

Actually, he gave up smoking after his operation a couple of years ago. But there’s no denying he’s a freethinker. Can you imagine the US actually electing a man with a mind? No, we need a tough guy with a swagger and a Texas accent who will talk a lot about staying the course whilst veering in every which way.

July 8, 2004 @ 9:07 am | Comment

I think Cheney would eat Edwards alive in a debate. Kerry had it right when he pointed out Edward’s lack of experience and political maturity. I was somewhat suprised he picked Edwards.

Cheney’s health reasons for stepping down aren’t implausible. His heart problems are well documented and publically known…Bush was initially slammed for picking Cheney precisely for this reason. How about Zell Miller as the replacement? He’s a Dem so they would have the non-partisan, unity ticket argument. Miller is more Gop than Dem anyway so there would be no real problem with party loyalty. And Miller wouild be hugely more of a force in the South than Edwards. Wouldn’t that stir the pot a bit?

July 10, 2004 @ 9:05 am | Comment

Jim, Cheney may well beat Edwards in the debate, but I’d like to know what you base that on. I believe Edwards will win based on the dazzling debate skills we saw during the primary, when he emerged as an unknown to become No. 2. All based on his oratorical prowess.

I thought Cheney did okay against Lieberman, who treated him with kid gloves, unfortunately. Cheney is smart and articulate. But he is also extremely vulnerable on scores of issues (I didn’t say right or wrong, just vulnerable) like the secrecy of his energy advisers, the Al Qaeda-Saddam link, his use of obscene language on the Senate floor, his perception of being the puppetmaster running the nation. An experienced debater and stellar trial lawyer like Edwards can make zingers at all these things, while there’s little of substance on which Cheney can zing Edwards. There’s also Cheney’s vast experience, resulting in a fruitless, unpopular and, as we all now know, thoroughly unnecessary war. Yes, Cheney may whip Edwards’ ass, but I franklyu don’t see how. Again, watch Edwards in his interactions and watch Cheney. If you still think Dick “will eat Edwards alive” I’d like to place a money bet on it.

July 10, 2004 @ 1:16 pm | Comment

Trial lawyers are not debaters, they’re orators. Cheney did not rise to the positions of power he has held without being able to turn the least eyeblink of an opponent into a millstone around his neck. Just watch how he is treated by Powell, Rumsfeld, hell even Rove. Cheney knows his vulnerabilities and weaknesses and how to cover them. No fox like an old fox.
Even the Dems I know laughed at Cheney’s comment to Leahy. Yes, yes, we are all shocked, shocked I tell you about such language by a public official. It was not proper, appropriate or decorous – but Leahy deserved it. Remember Ollie North? Up to his ears in Iran-Contra. Spit in the Senate’s collective face and became hugely popular for it. Politicians are not well liked, and it is just too gratifying sometimes to see them get their comeuppance.

I don’t know enough of Edwards background to comment on whether there is anything to zing him on. Knowing the thoroughness of the Bush team he better have been right up there with Mother Theresa tho. He doesn’t have much of a record in the Senate, which is itself a liability. All in all, I don’t believe people will vote on the basis of the VP pick.

July 11, 2004 @ 10:49 pm | Comment

“the thoroughness of the Bush team”

Yeah, like their thoroughness in understanding the situation in Iraq before marching in!

Seriously, if you are just referring to their political thoroughness, you’re quite right. They are superb at finding material from the past they can use for slander and political assassination, no matter how long ago the transgression occurred. Of course, some (like me) see this as a bad thing, a sign of the Bush team’s ruthlessness and pettiness, blowing the insignificant shit of 40 years ago into momentous proof of their opponent’s incomeptence when it was only a minor lapse of judgement.

July 13, 2004 @ 9:02 pm | Comment

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