Monday, June 09, 2003

More 2008: I'd like to revise and extend my remarks of May 7th, regarding the decision to keep Cheney on the ticket. (I'll link back when Blogspot resumes archiving capabilities -- i.e., don't hold your breath.) I said that it was a mistake to go into 2008 without an heir apparent. Further, I said that perhaps the implied heir apparent in the case of a will-not-run Cheney would be Jeb Bush. There is a possibility that I didn't mention -- a possibility I even considered silly: the notorious vice-presidential curse. You hear it mentioned whenever a sitting vice president runs for the big dog-catcher job and the fancy white house (happens so rarely, only three times, running against history, etc.). Nevertheless, the conventional wisdom is still that the VP position is the pole position. Is it possible that the GOP means to bring in a dark horse, either from within the administration or from without? (This would, of course, require one of our two major parties to display common sense, critical thinking skills, and a willingness to bypass the easy choice. Talk about a low-odds trend.)

Obviously this scenario doesn't exclude the Jeb in 2008 conspiracy theory. But it is possible for the administration to quietly groom someone inside for a couple of years, have a coming out party in about 2005 with lots of leaks to the press about how so and so has been "someone the president turns to," a source of candid advice, an invaluable asset. Again, Condi Rice comes to mind, though god knows if she'd even want the job. Tommy Thompson has executive experience and is, I think, ambitious enough -- after all, what is a cabinet office other than a resume booster for someone seeking a national reputation? And Tom Ridge, shortlisted for VP in 2000, has plans beyond Der Homeland, I presume. Say what you want about the various colors and flavors of terrorism alerts; if we don't get hit again before 2008, Ridge will have the street cred to run as a national security guru. Drawback: If we don't get hit again before '08, we'd better see some evil plans foiled in grand style (including a Scooby-doo-style unmasking of Osama at the end of each episode) or the nation won't want to hear about security -- particularly if we're all still waiting to board at O'Hare.

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