L.A. Times Editorial Calls for Cheney’s Ouster: A Los Angeles Times editorial Sunday called for a “far more audacious” makeover of President Bush’s administration, saying he should send Vice President Cheney into early retirement.
Let me start by saying that I don’t think President Cheney will allow this to happen.
But, just for the fun of it, let’s suppose that we wake up one day and for whatever reason we find ourselves de-Veeped. That raises two questions:
- Who would Bush be most likely to appoint?
- Who of the people Bush might conceivably appoint would be most politically destructive for the Democrats?
The media is already having a field day with the first question, and thinks the answer is Dr. Rice. But since I think that even if she were to become the Veep, I don’t think she’d run for President (or would be that hard to beat if she did), I don’t think that she is the answer to the second question.
The Democrats’ worst fear has to be the appointment of a viable Presidential candidate into the heir apparent role. Not only does this person get tons of free media and get to look more Presidential, but a new veep would get a leg up in the otherwise internecine primary fights.
So I think the answer to the second question is probably John McCain. It’s just conceivable Bush would pick him (they seem to have made some sort of deal in 2004). He would benefit the most from being anointed as the heir apparent, as it would allow him to drop his self-destructive run to the right. And a McCain who isn’t destroying himself, and doesn’t have to take full part in the rough-and-tumble of a primary (with the chances to lose one’s cool) would be a formidable candidate in 2008.
(I do note the Machiavellian argument that says Dr. Rice is the answer to the second question too, because that would ensure that Senator Clinton would become the Democratic nominee. I don’t quite buy it, but it worries me.)