28 February 2006
A Dickless future
Cheney isn't an asset at this point: he will likely face some scrutiny in the Libby trial, though it's highly unlikely that Cheney has done anything untoward. Public opinion is a harsher court than justice, and for the Administration, ousting the VP could be a wise public relations move, as would be placing a high-level administration official or Republican party favorite in as the VP for the latter half, or lame-duck half of the Bush Presidency. There is virtually no stronghold for the Republicans in 2008, clouding a future victory in the mists of partisan scuffling. Having a pre-made candidate who isn't John McCain would be ideal, and it would prevent unnecessary pancake breakfasts in New Hampshire while there's still work to be done.
There are, of course, drawbacks:
That said, replacing the VP after the mid-terms seems risky. If Bush is still low in the opinion polls, they may dump DC well before then: perhaps at the end of the summer, when there isn't enough time for the Dems to readjust strategies, and pick up some strong support in the polls with undecideds, convinced that the Administration or Republican party is making changes the Democrats aren't. A strong political figure with Presidential aspirations and a solid base would work well, probably a governor more so than any legislator.
Did you have anyone in mind?
Mitt Romney. Governor of a decidedly blue state, he appeals to right, right-of-center and moderate lefties (the majority of voters aren't on the fringe) and is strong on the social conservative issues, without being "neo-con" strong. He's Mormon, yes, but governors make better Presidents (something about the running stuff thing), and his efficient run at the Salt Lake games can't harm him. He has a good face, a good record, and he's certainly a contender.
Romney's LDS affiliation doesn't bother me personally, but I can see it becoming a campaign problem: that particular faith intersects more traditional Christian denominations at odd angles, and odd angles are a major source of wedge issues.
But from the Bush administration's point of view, the best thing about Mitt Romney is the fact that he's not John McCain; this isn't much of a selling point, since with one exception, all the potential Republican contenders are not John McCain. And if it's all that important to get McCain out of the way, Dick Cheney should take him on a hunting trip.Posted at 8:13 AM to Political Science Fiction