There had long been speculation Bush would replace Cheney, who has had four heart attacks, and take a running mate who could run to succeed him in 2008 if the president wins a second term.How mildly can you put it? First, it's a serious blow to the party to have no one waiting in the wings for 2008. Yes, Cheney could step down in, say, 2006 to let an heir come aboard, but don't you really want a battle-tested VP rather than a Gerald Ford?
Second, what does this say about Bush? Does it say that, even after Iraq, he doesn't have the confidence to move his eminence grise to an informal role and take on someone like Condi Rice as a running mate? She's about the sharpest knife in the GOP drawer right now, plus she isn't a 70-year-old white guy from the midwest. She's a sharp Californian (by transplant, but aren't they all?) with serious foreign policy cred and (let's be honest) the soccer-mom-vote-magnet trifecta of being black, female, and young. She looks great in a suit, too.
Third, I think we need to start asking the as-yet-unspoken question: Is Bush doping the ticket with Cheney in order to clear the 2008 decks for Jeb?