Thursday, July 08, 2004


In light of all of the positive buzz about John Edwards, his youth and vitality (not to mention Jack Edwards, who will be the star of the campaign), the buzz about dour Dick Cheney’s future has returned.

It has always been the theory of my favorite conservative that Cheney would step aside and let someone else take his place. Apparently, this is not an isolated thought, Al D’Amato has suggested that Cheney be replaced with Colin Powell or John McCain. Rudy Giuliani is another popular choice.

Personally, I cannot fathom Bush dumping Cheney. It would look desperate, and would make it look like Cheney’s critics on the left had won. (I mean, come-on, no one would buy the “my health requires it” line.) But what really makes this unthinkable to me is that the replacement would have to be a star (ala Giuliani, Powell or McCain) otherwise the replacement would look desperate and create little buzz. But the problem with the Big 3 is that they are not popular with the conservative base of the party. To pick a “liberal” Republican would be to risk creating open warfare within the party. With the margins as narrow as they are, Bush cannot afford to look desperate, and he especially cannot lose his core support. So for good and for bad, or unless Bush is up by about 10 points come the GOP convention, Cheney is on the ticket to stay.