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a conservative wonders who could replace cheney

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2004/7/14/193500.shtml Who Could Replace Cheney? Jon E. Dougherty and NewsMax Staff Thursday, July 15, 2004 There is a
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 16, 2004
      Who Could Replace Cheney?
      Jon E. Dougherty and NewsMax Staff
      Thursday, July 15, 2004 There is a growing movement
      among Republicans for President Bush to replace Dick
      Cheney for this November�s ticket. If Bush were to
      make such a decision, who could be his running mate?

      Washington sources tell NewsMax that for the moment,
      Bush has no plan to make the change. But the situation
      is fluid, and during this most volatile of campaigns
      that decision is not final.

      The Republican National Convention won�t take place
      until Aug. 30 � the drop date to make a normal

      The final decision to keep or replace Cheney may come
      then, depending on how Bush is faring in the polls and
      whether a change becomes a necessity.

      A Bush administration adviser says that though the
      president is extremely loyal to Cheney, he must also
      be loyal to �common sense and the party.�

      The point, the adviser noted, is to win the election.
      But he also noted � and this adviser has known Dick
      Cheney for three decades and likes him � that the
      ticket today is a �dead ticket.�

      Vice presidents have a high likelihood of eventually
      becoming the nation's chief executive, so Bush could
      undermine the 2008 ticket if he picked a running mate
      this year who could not run in that race.

      No one believes, considering Dick Cheney�s fragile
      health, that he would be a viable candidate in 2008.
      Cheney himself says he won�t run, describing his vice
      presidency as "my last job."

      One reason weighing against a change is that the
      mainstream media and the Democrats have complained
      about Dick Cheney � and have been touting his

      Indeed, Cheney's own selection as Bush's No. 2 was
      equally cryptic.

      Originally he was tapped to help Bush find a suitable
      running mate for the 2000 election, but the
      president-to-be surprised many when he actually named
      Cheney to the spot.

      And recently, the White House has dispelled reports
      that Bush is considering a new veep. "Those rumors are
      ridiculous," spokesman Scott McClellan says.

      But Republicans may have been frazzled by Democratic
      presidential nominee John Kerry when he selected the
      young, articulate John Edwards.

      One reporter typified the mainstream media's adoration
      of Edwards by telling Bush that the junior North
      Carolina senator and millionaire former trial lawyer
      was being described as "charming, engaging, a nimble
      campaigner, a populist and even sexy."

      The reporter then asked, "How does he stack up against
      Dick Cheney?"

      Bush shot back, "Dick Cheney can be president. Next?"

      But suppose Cheney's polling numbers became so bad
      they seriously impeded Bush's chances this fall?

      Or who would replace Cheney if his health gave out?

      No one name immediately jumps to mind for many
      Americans, but there are some possibilities worthy of
      mention who could help � or hurt � President Bush's
      chances, should Cheney have to bow out for some

      D'Amato Speaks

      Alphonse D'Amato, a former GOP senator from New York,
      said the day after Kerry made his VP selection that
      Bush should drop Cheney, and he offered up a pair of

      His "first and foremost" choice is Secretary of State
      Colin Powell, because he "would help galvanize the
      nation and offer a truly historic opportunity for
      American unity and pride."

      Second, D'Amato suggested, is Sen. John McCain,
      R-Ariz., "a genuine American hero who would also help
      bridge the political divide in our nation and assure
      the president's re-election by a wide margin."

      "Let me note that Vice President Cheney is a decent,
      honorable, and patriotic American, a man of great
      intellect, who has served the president and the nation
      with dedication," D'Amato said in a statement. "But we
      should make no mistake, we are a nation at war with a
      vicious terrorist foe, and in war hard decisions must
      be made."

      The betting today is that George Bush keeps Dick

      But already �if� raises some interesting scenarios.
      NewsMax recently surveyed the field of potential
      Cheney replacements � and possible presidential
      candidates in 2008.

      Here�s what we found:

      George Pataki

      Currently the governor of New York, George Pataki, 59,
      is already being considered as a potential GOP
      candidate in the 2008 election.

      Pataki is an ideal choice for vice president for
      several reasons.

      Though a Reagan Republican, he has a winning record in
      one of the most liberal states in the union. He won
      his third term in 2002 by nearly 750,000 votes.

      Pataki has also turned out to be one of the unsung
      heroes of Sept. 11, 2001. The attacks not only
      destroyed the World Trade Center towers, they also
      devastated New York�s economy.

      Mayor Rudy Giuliani offered charismatic leadership in
      the wake of Sept. 11 but was out of office just months
      later. Pataki has done the hard work in helping the
      state make a remarkable recovery.

      Another plus: Pataki is extremely popular with
      Hispanic and Jewish voters � constituencies the
      Republicans need to win nationwide.

      Rick Santorum

      Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., is the third-ranking member
      on the GOP leadership ladder. At 46, he's young and
      has good conservative credentials. He is
      anti-abortion, has a decent record regarding border
      issues since the 9/11 attacks, and comes from a
      battleground state that Al Gore won only narrowly in

      Santorum also may have done Bush a favor in stumping
      with the president in support of Santorum's
      Pennsylvania colleague, Sen. Arlen Specter, when the
      latter faced a formidable primary challenge from
      conservative Rep. Pat Toomey earlier this year.

      Tom Ridge

      Another Pennsylvanian, former governor of the state
      Tom Ridge, now the administration's director of
      Homeland Security, is considered a viable VP
      candidate. In fact, a former Clinton administration
      official thinks Bush will eventually settle on Ridge.

      Former Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta, at a
      February speech in New York City, reportedly said Bush
      would choose Ridge as his second-term running mate,
      according to blog site SwingStateProject.com.

      It is an interesting prediction. Ridge has been
      described often as popular in Pennsylvania when he
      stepped down as governor to become the new Homeland
      Security chief.

      Also, Pennsylvania has been trending GOP in recent
      years, say political analysts. Adopting a popular
      Republican political figure may help Bush carry the
      state in 2004.

      Finally, one of Bush's campaign strengths is his
      so-far-successful war on terror. Ridge, as head of the
      nation's largest, most prominent anti-terrorism
      agency, serves as a plus for Bush.

      One drawback: Ridge is pro-choice; Bush is pro-life.
      Ridge could change his mind if "convinced" to do so,
      though, negating this negative.

      Rudy Giuliani

      There has already been some speculation that former
      New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who gained
      worldwide prominence for his management of the city
      following the 9/11 attacks, could be tapped to replace

      While Giuliani has been praised by Republican leaders
      for his all-out support for the president and had been
      touted for top jobs in a second Bush term (he was
      rumored to have been offered the U.N. ambassadorship
      but turned it down), it is doubtful that Bush could
      take him and not alienate his conservative base.

      Giuliani has identified closely with the liberal wing
      of the party and even ran on the Liberal Party line in
      New York while eschewing the state�s influential
      Conservative Party.

      Condoleezza Rice

      As national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice has
      performed her duties superlatively.

      As an African-American woman with brains and talent,
      she could boost the re-election effort of President
      Bush by appealing to two voting blocs at once � women
      and blacks, groups not overwhelmingly supportive of
      Bush � and position herself well for a presidential
      bid in 2008.

      This phenomenon has not been lost on some of the most
      astute political analysts. Fox News political analyst
      and NewsMax Magazine columnist Dick Morris thinks
      replacing Cheney with Rice would insure Bush�s victory
      in November.

      The move, he says, would devastate the Democrats by
      eroding their base and ending their race-baiting

      John McCain

      Reports earlier in the election cycle claimed that
      Kerry was attempting to woo Senate colleague, fellow
      Navy Vietnam veteran and former POW John McCain,
      R-Ariz., perhaps as a way to unite Republicans and
      independents disappointed with the Bush

      But McCain rebuffed the alleged offers.

      Still, whose side is McCain on?

      He recently has come out swinging for Bush, a move the
      Bush White House welcomes and appreciates. But he may
      be too much of a maverick to be trusted.

      Also, some top GOPers are questioning McCain's
      Republican credentials.

      In May, McCain criticized fellow Republicans for
      seeking to cut taxes during a time of war. "I fondly
      remember a time when real Republicans stood for fiscal
      responsibility," McCain said.

      Asked by reporters about McCain's remarks, House
      Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., said: "If you want to
      see sacrifice, John McCain ought to visit our young
      men and women at Walter Reed and Bethesda [two
      Washington area military hospitals]. ... We have to
      react to keep this country strong not only militarily
      but economically."

      Colin Powell

      On the surface, Colin Powell seems a good choice. He
      would help secure some of the elusive African-American
      vote for the Republicans.

      As a former Army general and chairman of the Joint
      Chiefs of Staffe, he's extremely well-credentialed in
      military matters. He has sound national security and
      foreign policy experience as well and could help the
      president smooth overseas relations with his calm and
      confident demeanor.

      And besides D'Amato, there are others who believe
      Secretary of State Colin Powell could be an instant
      asset to the GOP as Bush's running mate.

      According to a Newsweek poll published July 11, the
      Dem ticket of Kerry-Edwards leads the Bush-Cheney
      ticket by around 6 points � 51 percent to 45 percent.

      While a number of political analysts said Kerry would
      most likely get a nominal boost in the polls after
      naming a running mate, the poll also found that a
      Bush-Powell ticket could defeat a Kerry-Edwards ticket
      53 percent to 44 percent.

      But it's not clear whether Powell would even accept
      Bush's offer. News reports say he has sought to
      distance himself from the administration and has
      already signaled insiders that he will leave after the
      November election.

      Mitt Romney

      As a Republican governor in the midst of perhaps the
      most high-profile social issue in decades, Mitt Romney
      of Massachusetts finds himself in the middle of the
      gay marriage controversy.

      But like Pataki, he is a conservative Republican who
      won in a liberal state. Translated: He can get the
      vote of swing voters.

      Others have also speculated about a Bush-Romney
      ticket. "Comparatively speaking, Romney is the sun to
      Cheney's darkness, a politician who can deliver a
      punch with a smile instead of a lip-curl," Boston
      Globe columnist Joan Vennochi wrote in the paper's
      Feb. 3, 2004, edition.

      She continued: "Romney is political optimism and
      CEO-style competence. Cheney is a poorly executed war
      with Iraq, the false link between Saddam Hussein and
      9/11, and the US government's no-bid contracts with
      companies like Halliburton."

      Romney may not have the experience Bush would want,
      but he will be a player in 2008 and beyond.

      Bill Owens

      Already considered a potential GOP presidential
      candidate for 2008, Colorado Gov. Bill Owens also
      could help Bush in the Midwest and West, though the
      president is already polling well there.

      Owens, however, may have a name recognition problem:
      Not enough Americans know who he is and, according
      Dick Morris, he isn't likely to be able to win in 2008
      � at least for now. Overall, his addition doesn't add
      much. He'll need the next four years to define himself
      and become familiar to voters.
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