The internets are rife with wild ghoulish speculation that the Vice President might be named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Plame prosecution. (Or worse?) We know so little about what is actually going on in Fitzgerald’s office — contrast this professionally run operation to, say, the Ken Starr ethics-free horror show — that all such speculation strikes me as wildly premature.
So let’s indulge in some even more wildly premature and irresponsible speculation in the nature of a parlor game: suppose Bush suddenly needs to appoint a new Vice President due to the unavailablity or resignation of the current incumbent. Who gets the nod?
The 25th Amendment provides, in Section 2, that “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.”
The GOP has a majority in both chambers, but it would obviously be desirable to have a candidate who gets a less bumptious reception than seems to be facing Ms. Miers. That might mean a Senator, a popular governor, a member of the Cabinet, or an elder statesman. (Or, given who is doing the appointing, not.) Unless the person named was somehow disqualified by age they would immediately have a giant advantage in race for the poisoned chalice of the GOP 2008 Presidential nomination.
An additional complicating factor here is that some believe that Bush promised Sen. McCain tacit support in 2008, or at least the absence of support for rivals, in order to get McCain’s full backing in 2004. But they don’t like each other much, and I somewhat doubt that Bush would choose McCain to be so close to the levers of power.
A popular governor like Jeb Bush would be a possibility, but that nepotism thing might be a little too cronyist to work. And that might also violate the deal with McCain, if in fact it exists.
Leave your ghoulish speculation in the comments. I’ll name my name below. Names should be people Bush would be likely to like, easily confirmable, and either likely to raise GOP fortunes, or boneheaded in a plausible way.
Update: Just to clarify, given the first comment, the point of this game isn’t who Bush should pick, it’s who he would pick. Thus criticizing a choice as too sycophantic or not sufficiently reality-based completely misses the point.
How about….Dr. Condoleezza Rice.