Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Dump Cheney...?

A google search on the string (with quotes) "dump Cheney" gives this result:

about 40,400 for "dump Cheney". (0.20 seconds)

I have to admit, even though I am having trouble getting to sleep (see post below), I did not read all forty thousand.  Here is a sampling of what I did  read:

From: Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal

July 26, 2004
Department of "Huh"?

[...] But back last winter, when there were live discussions about dumping Cheney among serious Republicans, the real reason for Bush to dump Cheney was to get a better Bush administration in the second term. Consider that the most bitter critics of the Bush administration have been its insiders: Paul O'Neill--the man whom George W. Bush thought in 2001 was the best man in the world for the job of Treasury Secretary--with his characterization of Bush as "a blind man in a room full of deaf people"; John Di Iulio--the man whom George W. Bush thought the best man in the world to run his signature White House-based faith initiative--recoils in horror when he recalls his days among the "Mayberry Machiavellis"; and what Richard Clarke--the man whom George W. Bush thought the best man in the world to coordinate counterterrorism efforts--thinks of George W. Bush cannot be said in polite company. One theory of what has gone wrong in the substantive policies of the Bush administration is that Cheney has encouraged Bush's worst tendencies, and that much better policies would emerge if somebody else were in Cheney's place.

Whether or not it would be good for Cheney to stay on the Republican ticket hinges on whether this theory is false. Any argument that Cheney should stay needs to be backed by an argument that Cheney has not been a bad influence on George W. Bush's policies.

From: Boi From Troy

July 07, 2004
Dump Cheney Rollout Strategy

I have no information to corroborate whether there will or will not be a "Dump Cheney" movement, but my eyebrows were raised a week ago and have been on the lookout for evidence...Here's what I have so far:

   1. GOP Convention Press release mentions the renomination of the President...but not of the Vice President
   2. Story strategically leaked that doctor giving Cheney "clean bill of health" was wacked out on drugs
   3. New bumper sticker arrives in mail yesterday from Bush Camaign--without mentioning Cheney

Clear evidence that Cheney will not be on the ticket come October?!? Hardly... But it is enough to start thinking about a Cheney Dump Watch. If the President were seeking to replace him, it would be convenient to discredit the doctor saying he was healthy enough to be up to the job, before asking him to get a re-examination before August 28. In the meantime...save moneey by leaving Cheney off the printed materials!

From: Stupid Evil Bastard

Saturday, July 10, 2004
Will Bush dump Cheney?

Since Kerry selected Edwards as his running mate there have been the inevitable comparisons between what the presumptive VP nominees bring to their respective tickets. A tonge-in cheek Op Ed piece in today's New York Times listed some of Cheney’s negatives--manipulation of intelligence, possible association with outing Valerie Plame, and his relationship with Halliburton. The article goes on to discuss plausible plusses that Colin Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and John McCain might bring as running mates for the President. (He neglected to mention Colin Powell’s musical talents.) There was even a letter to the editor in this morning’s St. Louis Post Dispatch suggesting that Bush should select Elizabeth Dole.

In answer to the original question--I suspect not for several reasons. Bush is big on loyalty, Cheney is his biggest ally on the myth of the Osama-Saddam link, and the campaign wouldn’t put Cheney out as their front man if they were planning on dumping him. Would Powell accept if offered? I’m a bit less certain on this one, but I suspect not.

From: Another Liberal Blog

Dump Cheney? Think again.

After Kerry's well-received choice of Edwards as his running mate, speculation is rife on the web as to whether Bush will dump Cheney from the ticket.

    * Taegan Goddard's Political Wire details an embarrassing aspect of Bush's 2000 VP search: apparently Bush asked McCain in 2000 to be his running mate, and was turned down. Only then did Bush pick Cheney.
    * America's favorite oil slick, Alfonse D'amato tells Bush to dump Cheney from the ticket.
    * Instapundit speculates that Cheney will be dumped "for vague medical reasons."

I disagree. The Bush-Cheney campaign has been built around the theme of decisive (read: stubborn, intransigent, rigid, tunnel-visioned...) leadership. Any admission of a mistake, error in judgment or misguided decision would erode that image. For Bush to dump Cheney would undermine his image as a decisive leader who doesn't look at polls before making a decision. "Vague medical reasons" would simply not fly with the press, and the decision would look like transparent, desperate political gambit. Better to stick with Cheney and make lemonade out of a pretty bitter lemon.

At the Command Post, there is a post that is simply a clipping  from a news story about Alfonse D'Amato calling on Bush to dump Cheney.  Usually, when such a clipping is posted, it means either that the blogger agrees with the article, or disagrees with it so strenuously that it would be obviously ridiculous to agree with it. 

From: Greater Democracy

Bush: Vice-President Cheney to Step Down
Giuliani to Join Republican Ticket

The Associated Press
Thursday, August 26, 2004; 11:49 AM

WASHINGTON -- A somber President George Bush said today, in an emotional Rose Garden press conference, that Vice-President Dick Cheney has asked to be replaced on the Republican ticket due to health reasons.

With the Vice-President at his side, the President said that Cheney's health had to come before all other considerations. He thanked him for the selfless contributions he had made to his administration, and to the country, and wished him a calm and healthy retirement.

Bush said that he had asked former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to join him on the Republican ticket, and that Giuliani had accepted. The President said that he was confident that his party's delegates would confirm his choice of Giuliani as Vice-President when they convened next week in New York for the 2004 Republican National Convention.

(Since this actually was posted in 2003, it appears to be satire...or wishful thinking.)

From: Poliblog

March 03, 2004
Veep-Talk (In this Case, Regarding Bush)

James Joyner discusses why Bush won't dump Cheney (and links to several bloggers on the topic. I agree with his assessment: Cheney isn't going anywhere.

I will give yet another reason why Bush won't dump Cheney: doing so would make it look like he made a mistake picking him in the first place.

Additionally, dumping Cheney wouldn't stop the attacks from those who make all the Halliburton/he's the puppet-master arguments, rather it would simply confirm their suspicions that something was up and Bush had to cave to the pressure to remove him.

The only positive benefit for dumping Cheney that I can see would be to groom someone for 2008.

And while I like Giuliani, he has a problem, and it can be summed up in a hyphenated word: "pro-choice". That wouldn't play well with the social conservatives, who Bush needs to turn out in large numbers in November.

From: Signifying Nothing

Tuesday, 2 March 2004
Castration still on the table?

I think dumping Cheney, however, removes the most obvious target for criticism—and the only one actually on the ticket. While some of the Cheney criticism would devolve onto Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, Tom Ridge, Paul Wolfowitz, and a host of other figures, it’s hard to pin all of the myriad problems attributable in some tenuous way on Cheney to any single one of them. Removing a lightning rod for critics like Cheney, while not immunizing the administration from criticism, at least has the effect of diffusing that criticism, thus making it harder for Democrats to personalize their attacks.

From: Kalblog

March 03, 2004

I've been figuring for some time that Bush is looking at Giuliani as a possible Attorney General. The fact is, Ashcroft is unpopular among even many Republicans, while Giuliani is widely admired and is a former federal prosecutor. I don't think the effect of a Giuliani Justice Department would be much different from Ashcroft's, but it would be more popular.

I just doubt he'll replace Cheney on the ticket, even if some are suggesting him as a possibility because he could help take New York.

Personality wise, it just doesn't work. Giuliani isn't the kind of guy who works well under people, and that is what a Vice President has to do, while an Attorney General has significant leeway in pursuing his own plan.

And I doubt he could help Bush take New York. While he remains a popular figure downstate, Gore beat Bush by 25 points in 2000, and that is an awful lot to make up for. And I'm not sure whether his endorsement carries as much weight as it did in the Fall of 2001, when he turned Michael Bloomberg from a long shot into a winner with $70 million of Bloomberg's money.

From: Blackfive

March 03, 2004
Bush VP Choices

James Joyner has more about the Bush VP issue. A lot of people I know wish he would choose Condi Rice but are concerned over race and gender. Meaning that she is a good choice but that conventional wisdom believes that America is too prejudiced to go forward with either a woman or an African American as President. This is bunk - absolute bunk - and I hate to believe that this line of thought would be considered by Republicans (or Americans for that matter).

The Economist wrote that Bush should choose Bill Owens (Governor of Colorado) to help Bush win the Southwest which is an area that Kerry is focusing on because he won't win the South. I don't know anything about Bill Owens so maybe you Coloradoans could comment in order to help us understand The Economist's idea.

I agree with James Joyner that Cheney won't really matter all that much in the election. The Bush family is well known for it's loyalty. This is something that was pointed out as a flaw in GHWB when he wouldn't dump Dan Quayle. In this case, Cheney brings a lot more to the table than Quayle AND he won't be running for President which leaves the door open for a more Presidential candidate in 2008.

I would like to see Rice as a Candidate though. She is someone that could be a contender for President someday and have a shot against Hilary. Imagine the debate in 2008! Dr. Rice would pick Sen. Clinton apart...

Therefore, aside from VP qualities being the most important factor, I believe that the Republicans should either choose someone that will be a good candidate in 2008 or keep Dick Cheney. To bring on a candidate in order to win a state is not a good long-term strategy to keep a Conservative in the White House. We'd end up losing in 2008 or wind up with an LBJ.

Commentary:  These present a fair sampling of the opinions: few people seem to think it is a good idea.  One idea that has not come up yet, but which should get some serious consideration:

Why doesn't Bush dump Bush in '04?????

  1. No more worries about whether Cheney will have a heart attack, when they go together to testify before Congress (as is sure to happen many more times, if they are re-elected.)
  2. The Republicans will get to blame the Democrats for the economic problems caused by the deficit.
  3. Other countries will not hate us, so there will be less risk of a terrorist attack.
  4. He will get to spend 100% of his time in Crawford, as opposed to the 40% he gets now.  ( 1  2  3)
  5. He will avoid another embarrassing recount in Florida, which still can't get it's voter registration right.
  6. Jenna and Barbara Bush will be able to get drunk without worrying about the paparazzi.
  7. George W. Bush will be able to get drunk without worrying about the paparazzi
  8. He will be able to get back to the oil business, which is turning record profits now.
  9. He will have the time to write a book.  (You do not have to know how to pronounce "nuclear" when you are writing.)
  10. Isn't nine enough?

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