Cheney is stepping down. To this, there should be little debate, in my opinion. The most prominent question is when. I say we will see a continuing
of the momentum on Cheney health stories (the blood clot) evolve until administration or Republican sources start to whisper that Cheney is
considering stepping down. Within four months, the VP will in fact make that announcement.
Now, the kicker is why?
Actually, the move is quite genius and really the Republican's only hope if the party wants to keep the White House in '08 -- because all outward
signs indicate that Bush has effectively sealed off the White House from the Republicans for at least two decades following the 08 election.
Essentially, the Republicans will set up a Bush successor in the VP role. Right now, Republican hopefuls are all jumping around trying to determine
who should grab the nomination. While the base is interested -- as it always will be -- the real energy so far has been cornered by the Democrats.
Make no mistake, once the Democrats center on a nomination, they will be real contenders for the White House.
But, if the Republicans can get their acts together early enough, rally behind a real popular candidate who is able to reattract the centrist voters,
then there's a real chance the Republicans can maintain hold. In the end, the two main Democratic contenders -- Hillary Clinton and Barac Obama --
are both left of center in social issues. Perhaps left enough that they could alienate the independent voter in '08, as long as the Republican party
has a viable candidate.
I believe there is very little chance the Republicans can groom a viable candidate coming off of the Republican convention. It will be way too late.
Instead, what the Republican National Committee and the Bush Administration are doing is quite brilliant. Have Cheney step down a VP for health
reasons, choose the best Republican presidential candidate to replace Cheney, and then have him be a defacto leader leading up to the '08
Make no mistake, the next election is going to be a tough fight for both parties. But without the Republican party standing behind a nominee early
on, the party truly has no hope.
So, who will replace Cheney?
That's a tougher question for this Oracle. Right now, there are a slew of Republicans claiming to either be running for the White House -- or in
"exploratory committees" (which is political speak for gauging fund raising interest). Out of the pool, I would say the most likely successors
though would be John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney. There can be cases made for Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and even Chuck Hagel. But in
reality, they don't stand much of a chance.
In any case, whoever earns the VP nomination will gain a certain gravitas (a popular word being bandied about by political pundits lately) that could
help swing independent and socially conservative voters back into the Republican camp. Plus, and more importantly, the candidate will be someone who
will likely disavow the Neocon agenda and be critical to the President. For those who think that's an impossibility, remember how critical Bush
spokesman Tony Snow was prior to his appointment.
Anyway, this is my prediction. You will begin to see more
stories like this in the
[edit on 6-3-2007 by behindthescenes]