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February 20, 2005

The Case for Condi Replacing Cheney

Early in George W. Bush’s first term, before 9-11 changed his presidency, I predicted that Dick Cheney would step down either with real health problems or as a strategic move, and Bush would name Condoleezza Rice as his new vice president. Rice would the run as Bush’s vice presidential candidate in 2004.

This, I thought, would be a the right political calculation because it would change the dynamics of the 2004 election in a way that would breathe life into what appeared to be a vulnerable Bush re-election candidacy, and it would set Rice up to compete with Hillary Clinton in 2008.

Of course none of that happened, and Cheney has served the nation with distinction and class.

Now this report from Jack Wheeler at To The Point that Vice President Dick Cheney likely will step down next year due to health reasons and be replaced by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. (h/t: WorldNewsDaily)

Wheeler says there's a "red-breasted rumor bird" flying around Capitol Hill that has whispered the same thing to most congressional committee chairmen.

One such chairman evidently told Wheeler: "None of us will be surprised if, sometime next year, he will step down from the vice presidency due to his health."

According to the Wheeler, in this scenario these Members of Congress believe Bush would appoint Condoleezza Rice. “As a sitting vice president, Condi would be in an impregnable position for the GOP nomination in 2008 and would suck every breath of wind from Hillary's sails.


Posted by Jim at February 20, 2005 08:05 AM

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You don't expect us to believe that such cold calculations exist in politics do you? I mean, really, next I suppose you'll be telling us that a major party might put in an extremist as its party chairman to mollify its extremist elements and, at the same time, make the party's leading candidate, who previously was perceived as very liberal, appear to be downright centrist? Perish the thought!

Posted by: Mark Sides at February 20, 2005 02:56 PM

Condi has never run for elective office in her life. She has no executive experience. There was a very good article in the American Thinker today which those inclined to jump on the Condi for President bandwagon should read.

Incidentally, I don't believe Condi herself is on that bandwagon.

Posted by: Doug at February 20, 2005 07:40 PM

Normally, a political party nominates about as extreme a candidate as it can get away with. Despite allegations to the contrary, Bush is a fairly bland, moderate politician; he was chosen in 2000 because Gore was perceived to be a strong opponent.

Likewise, the Democrats nominated about as radical a candidate in 2004 as they thought they could get away with, because they perceived Bush as vulnerable. Kerry is, after all, rated the most liberal member of the Senate. Unfortunately for the Democrats, they miscalculated.

Should the Democrats run as divisive and vulnerable a candidate as Hillary Clinton in 2008, it would be entirely predictable that the Republicans would respond by running a candidate they normally wouldn't take a chance on. Condi Rice fits that profile. If the Democrats were to run someone like Liebermann (which I consider all but impossible) the Republicans would have to respond with a bland, safe candidate of their own.

Posted by: Kent at February 20, 2005 10:35 PM

The article recommended by Doug in American Thinker is excellent. But conventional wisdom may be out the door. Search American history for a succesful (or unsuccessful) female candidate for President. Hillary is likely to be the first female candidate, and unless the Republicans do something dramatic, she is going to be successful.

By the way, Condi's lack of executive leadership is precisely why Cheney would step down and give her some time as a VP.

Posted by: Jim Jewell at February 21, 2005 06:47 AM

Could you imagine those evil white conservative bigoted republicans electing the first BLACK president? The first WOMAN president? Show the democrats who is the party of equality.

Posted by: bill at February 22, 2005 07:43 PM