Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Condi Rice for Dick Cheney?

Not in a biblical sense, of course.

Nope, Ace is talking about the latest wave of "Replace Cheney with Rice" rumors.

While my buddy Ranger was in town this weekend, we chatted briefly about this prospect. Ranger is a loyal Democrat, and I'm. . . not, so we shared our perspectives on the political bench for 2008.

Suffice it to say, neither of us were very excited by any of the names currently making the circuit.

I believe that, like the Democrats in 1992, or the Republicans in 2000, the 2008 primary season is likely to produce nominees that, for all intents and purposes, are relatively unknown today. I can easily forsee the 2008 nominees being people that hardly anyone outside of the Beltway could name, let alone pick out of a lineup.

That said, what about the Rice-for-Cheney thing?

Well, I think it's possible, if only because President Bush has one serious weakness right now: he has no political heir. With Cheney swearing off a run by himself, there is no annointed successor to President Bush. He's played a few favorites with different people at different times-- Rudy Guiliani for one, Bill Frist for another-- but none of them have the full-on stamp of approval.

There's still a long way to go until 2008, of course, but to be effective, the Republican Party sure would like to know who the White House is for by the mid-term elections. While it's possible the Bush Administration may choose to support no one-- friendly neutrality towards all Republicans-- the 2008 election could end up being the first election in modern memory where neither a sitting President nor Vice President ran for election.

BTW, my history is pretty rust right now-- all the Sudafed-- anyone know which election was the last one that replicated this scenario? Methinks Herbert Hoover was the last non-VP to run from his predecessor's administration and win, but even then, Hoover was a member of the Coolidge cabinet. Anyone know of a situation where neither nominee was in the administration just prior?

To conclude, I don't know if there will be such a swap, or if Cheney is to leave, whether Rice is the one to replace him. If Rice has any inclination towards running for President-- she hasn't shown any political desires to date-- taking the Veep job is about the only thing she could do to strengthen her hand in 2008. For, as Ace reminds folks, she's never held any elective office. This wouldn't automatically be a disqualifer, but when combined with her total lack of domestic political experience, Vice President is the only job available that can give her a crash course in pressing the flesh.

My bet? In 2008 she'll either be a Vice Presidential nominee, or she'll return to California, and run against Barbara Boxer in 2010.


I would say 1952 -- Eisenhower v Stevenson -- was the last election where neither candidate was an incumbent President or VP.

Simon Oliver Lockwood
D'oh! I always forget Adlai Stevenson.

Which, let's be honest-- *EVERYONE* always forgets Stevenson, the Buffalo Bills of American politics.

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