18 October 2005

Predicition: Cheney will be sent to pasture before 2006

"Have you seen my smoke...or my mirrors? I swear they were just here after the Miers nomination, or was it the FEMA fiasco?"
-- fictitous WH strategist.
The walking cane that Vice-President Dick Cheney has been using lately intrigues me. We all know he had knee surgery a while back. But, if the WH strategists want us to feel secure about the Veep's excellent health and prove that he's ready to take on the nation's problems, they wouldn't repeatedly send old Dick outside to face cameras with that Colonel Sanders-looking-cane.

He looks feeble. And that's quite possibly the whole point. I'm not one to point fingers, but it seems something is not right on Pennsylvania Ave. A few desks may be emptied in the coming weeks -- but it will be presented to us as a natural occurance while cameras are trained on something unrelated and sensational. "Oh my God! Don't turn around but, there is a hurricane, earthquake, flood, fire, and flu-ridden bird behind you!"

It's a safe bet that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be proposed as a mid-season replacement for rickety Dick. A health concern, real or imagined, is a perfect reason to resign from the nation's "No. 2 job." Next best is a need to spend more time with one's family. But that excuse is getting pretty tired. The last choice is to be fingered in a special prosecutor's report about lying in the West Wing and other unsavory practices.

Cheney's departure could be the "New Leaf" (well, "New Deal" was already taken.) that desperately needs to be turned over in the midst of a half-dozen scandals plaguing the WH and the GOP. Rice and Chief of Staff Andrew Card could wheel Cheney out the back door and pack him into a cab headed for those corporate arms that love him so. Forewarn Dick that he'll need to take some of the heat in exchange for lining hundreds of pockets with billions of dollars. Then, the administration can get on with its remaining two years. Maybe some sort of legacy could be fashioned out of Post-Its and chewing gum before Karl Rove brings the curtain down on a thoroughly clever performance. (I feel an audit coming on.)

It's a Condi v. Hillary race in 2008, unless the old-school political machinery gears up and knocks them both off the list. The current administration has paved the way for just about anybody to run for the presidency.


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