Gray Flannel Dwarf

7/8/2004

The veep speculation continues…

…and this time, it’s, concerning the incumbent ticket.

To tell you the truth, I think this is pretty much a non-story; I really doubt Cheney will get dropped, as wild as the speculation has been, and as much as it would help Bush in his re-election efforts.

It is interesting to consider, however. I keep thinking back to a few weeks ago, when Rumsfeld was in particularly hot water. The talking heads on DC talk station WTOP were speaking to their political analyst, Mark Plotkin, and posed a question, asking what what kind of signs might indicate an impending dismissal and/or resignation. Plotkin replied that probably the first thing would be to watch for prominent Republican politicians cast pointed criticism. Now, perhaps this would be too obvious to some, but it’s a valid point nonetheless.

I bring this up merely due to the most recent statements by former Senator Alfonse D’Amato, who has twice thus far recommended that Bush find someone else. Now, it’s true that D’Amato arguably doesn’t have the political clout that he once had, but he’s far from obscure.

If he chose to do it, who might Bush pick? I don’t think it would be McCain, as D’Amato recommends; I think McCain would turn down Bush, just as he did Kerry. I haven’t much doubt that McCain wants to run in 2008, and while being Veep obviously doesn’t preclude him from running and being elected in 2008, close association with Bush very might be more of a liability than an asset. Furthermore, there’s not much historical evidence pointing to the notion that being the previous Vice President even helps one get the nomination.

Would Bush pick Powell, then, as his running mate, per D’Amato? I don’t think so here, either. First off, it’s been said that a reason weighing heavily as to why Powell didn’t run for president earlier was familial — his wife and, if I receall correctly, his children to a lesser degree, had merely lukewarm support for such a notion… although things can change over several years I suppose. Add to this, though, the issues the embattled Powell has dealt with lately, and we come back nearly full circle on the Bush “collateral damage” argument.

Who, then, would be a good running mate for Bush? I am not sure. Retired Sen. Fred Thompson? He obviously has personality, although I am not so sure what his political ambitions are these days. While we’re in Tennessee, why not Frist? People like doctors, right? He’s advanced rapidly in the Senate — albeit due in part to Lott’s gaffe — and is fairly well known. The two share the same views on a lot of issues as well… but this might be as much a hinderance as a help, knowing both are outspoken concerning their views on stem cell research. It would be interesting to see Frist having to give a definitive view on reimported prescription drugs — although this one isn’t as much of an issue as it was in months prior.

Then, of course, there’s always Giuliani, but I don’t have a lot more to add to that discussion, other than the fact that he would probably get the GOP nod for 2008, and it would be an interesting year in politics to see him go against H.R. Clinton. Talk about speculation, though! I don’t even want to think about that one until it happens.

Who else might make a viable veep for Dubya? Really, I’ve gone on too long about an issue that, like I said in the beginning, probably isn’t really one at all…. but it makes for fun speculation. In my best estimate, Bush would need to look for someone with perhaps waning political ambition — thus, one who is not gunshy about being associated with him — but is charismatic enough to help deflect some of the lightning that Bush seems to attract. The most interesting thing to watch, if it happens, will be to see if, despite everything, Bush sticks with his standard cronyism, or if he digs a little deeper to find a candidate with more widespread appeal.


cswiii @ 2:25 pm

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