The Commonwealth Iconoclast

A site dedicated to covering issues relevant to the Commonwealth of Virginia, and nation at large, plus other interesting things too, as I see fit...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Will Dick leave Bush?

Yesterday it was widely reported that Dick "I'm with stupid" Cheney went to a D.C. area hospital complaining of shortness of breath. All kidding aside, Dick Cheney's health has always been an issue, especially when you consider that Cheney had his first heart attack at the ripe old age of 37.

I would venture to guess that most folks who have heart attacks at the age of 37 most likely have a family predisposition to heart disease (which I believe Cheney does), and this is unfortunate. Also, I'd imagine that Cheney's 1 a.m. binges on greasy pizza chased down with a tall cold glass of Texas crude (ok, probably milk) hasn't exactly helped his situation either.

As I recall, a few months ago Cheney ruled out the possibility of running for President in 2008. Not only would Cheney's poor health be an issue if he were to run for President, but his miserable (almost to the point of being funny) approval ratings just might have prevented him from being nominated anyhow.

This puts the Republican Party in the unique sitution of not having a logical successor to President Bush. Therefore, when you consider Cheney's long history of heath problems is it likely that Cheney will step down soon and allow Bush to "hand pick" his successor? The theory of Cheney departing before 2008 isn't new, I can recall several blogs discussing this possibility almost immediatly after the 2004 elections. So if you buy into the idea that Cheney is indeed departing the adminstration soon, I guess the next question would be who would replace him?

I'm not aware if a sitting VP has ever voluntarily departed office before? Yes, Spiro Agnew did resign, but it wasn't voluntary. The constitutional procedure for replacing a departed VP allows for the President to nominate a successor "Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress." Therefore, Bush would be allowed to "hand pick" Cheney's successor, and this individual would then go through a confirmation process.

Ok, so back to my original question: Who would replace Cheney? If I had to bet I'd put my money on Condoleeza Rice. Rice is a Bush confidant, and has been mentioned as a possible Presidential candidate. Can you think of a better way to groom Rice for the Presidency - and give her an inside track to the Republican nomination - by allowing her to serve as VP for 2 years? Also, I wouldn't think that Dr. Rice would have too much of a problem being confirmed either, after all Dick Cheney has been the VP for almost 6 years!

So there we have it, another log to throw on the fire that will soon turn into one of the most exciting and likely important Presidential races in modern times. Thoughts?


  • At 1/10/2006 1:43 PM, Blogger zen said…

    This is an astounding view indeed, wow.
    It would seem that Bush has potential to run the Republican takeover and conservative movement right into the know the way he has with the war on Terra. So it would not surprise me if some Rove-ish plan to retain power into the future, not only for the party, but for the cabal is being crafted. One in which the claws of Cheney et al are not far from stoking the fires well into the next administration.
    Wow. Consider the ability to bring Condi (or whomever is the chosen one) into the fold as we face off against Iran. What a huge selling point for 2008...if not a disaster. Cunning and clever as Cheney's health is a ligit reason to stepdown, and Condi is only rewarded by Bush. Not to mention the retained close friendship with corporations and contractors. Brings cronyism to a new plateau.

  • At 1/10/2006 2:29 PM, Blogger J.Sarge said…

    Although I agree with Cheney on precious little, I certainly wish him a speedy recovery, and not just for political reasons.

    I came to the same conclusion as ComIcon last night. I had thought about it in the wake of the 2004 election, but the scene has firmed up a bit since then.

    At that time, I thought Allen had a good chance. Now, however, Dems have held onto the Governorship and would be able to appoint his successor (although an election would be held shortly for even that replacement). The GOP margin in the Senate may be sufficiently large that even this consideration is not particularly important.

    Bush, however, has shown little interest, as far as I can tell, in picking favorites among Republicans. For that reason, and his because of his quite open friendship with Rice, I believe she would be his pick.

    He would get the credit for naming the first woman and the first African American VP. He would help her to an inside nomination track for president (something that I still think is anethema to the GOP apparatus because of her race, if not her gender). And he would be rewarding a loyalist, something he has shown a proclivity for, to say the least.

    Given the alternatives, I'm not sure Rice would be such a bad choice, to be honest.

  • At 1/10/2006 2:43 PM, Blogger Will Vaught said…

    yea, I agree with your assesment on rice "given the alternatives"...and appointing an african-american women as VP would go along away for a President who seems to care very little about the plight of most african-americans

    I just find this "cheney goes to the hospital due to shortness of breath" a bit nebulous. I mean, I would imagine that cheney (cosidering his obviousl obesity, and poor health) would have shortness of breath just trying to get out of the bed in the morning. therefore, it seems like a perfect way to "set the table" for his resignation based on health related issues....

    I've also heard the exact opposite, that not having a logical successor (like a VP) helps bush, because he then doesn't have to worry about "f-ing it up for someone else"

  • At 1/10/2006 6:03 PM, Blogger Politicl.Animal said…

    Off the top of my head, I know that John C. Calhoun left his position as Andrew Jackson's VP in 1830 when he won election as a Senator from South Carolina, quickly becoming one of the administration's fiercest critics.

    But I'm not going to be able to come up with any others without some research.

  • At 1/10/2006 9:05 PM, Blogger Alice said…

    Health problems are only an issue for those capable of casting a reflection in a mirror.

  • At 1/10/2006 9:56 PM, Blogger The Richmond Democrat said…

    Republicans are currently facing the "scorpion in a bottle" dilemma both nationally and in Virginia. Because there is no one logical successor, there are a host of "illogical" successors. Republicans being what Republicans are they will turn their massively effective negative campaign machines against each other.

    Who would make a better president, Condi or George Allen? Who would make a better Governor, Bill Bolling or Bob McDonnell?

    Look for the Republicans to start eating their young.

  • At 1/11/2006 8:39 AM, Blogger Will Vaught said…

    I'd take Condi over George anyday, but I just can't see the Rebublican faithful accepting her, allen's cowboy boots (and hat) plus his "awh sucks" image, make him irresistable to the loyalist...

    Bill Bolling is exactly the type of candidate that Democrats want VA. Republicans to nominate (Just like Leslie Bryne is exactly the candidate the Republicans want Dems to nominate)

    McDonnell has the looks and the persona that will enable him to maybe go far, but his politics are not much better than Bolling, he's an extremist. That haircut and suit can only carry him so far once people actually pay attention to his record, and Dems. should also start expoliting his close ties to the radical cleric Pat Robertson too..

  • At 1/11/2006 4:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    At this point, Bush won't get credit for naming a black woman to be VP unless it's Oprah. Hell, since 50 Cent countered Kanye, Bush would have a better shot at getting black support if he nominated him.

    The fascination with Rice is interesting, but she's much less formidable a candidate than Hillary would be on the other side. Condi's got real management issues - i.e. she's quick to lose handle of situations. Plus, Bush can't have another rookie backing him up. Say what you want about Cheney, but the man was "qualified" to be President when Bush wasn't.

    Now, if he brought Colin Powell out from the cold to be his VP, it's another ballgame.

    -- Conaway


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