February 27, 2006

"Big Time" To Retire Next Year? Don't Bet On It.

In what is obviously a trial balloon being floated by some Senior GOP operatives, there is speculation in Insight Magazine - the companion to the Washington Times - that the VP will be "persuaded to step down" after the mid-term elections because he is viewed in some circles as a liability to the President.

OK, a liability to what? Bush's reelection? Obviously not.

Here's all you need to know about this story:

The sources reported a growing rift between the president and vice president as well as their staffs. They cited Mr. Cheney's failure to immediately tell the president of the accidental shooting of the vice president's hunting colleague earlier this month. The White House didn't learn of the incident until 18 hours later.

Mr. Cheney's next crisis could take place by the end of the year, the sources said. They said the White House was expecting Mr. Cheney to defend himself against charges from his former chief of staff, Lewis Libby, that the vice president ordered him to relay classified information. Such a charge could lead to a congressional investigation and even impeachment proceedings.

"Nothing will happen until after the congressional elections," a GOP source said. "After that, there will be significant changes in the administration and Cheney will probably be part of that."

The money quote there is "as well as their staffs". That's really what it's about. Cheney has been a trusted advisor to the President since the announcement that he was to be Bush's VP candidate. Nothing has changed in that respect. The President is excruciatingly loyal to his inner circle, as long as they reciprocate. Nothing Cheney has done can be charactarized as disloyalty to Bush personally.

What you're seeing here is a minor turf war between staffers who think they have more influence than they really do. And the people driving this are those hot shots who would hope to be on the staff of whomever would be Cheney's replacement - giving them an inside track to the Oval Office in 2008.

If anyone is not going to be around anymore after the 2006 elections, it'll probably be that "GOP source" quoted above. Because what he or she did - off-the-record rumor-mongering - is exactly the kind of thing that would get you kicked out of this White House. This little parlor-game speculation will persist for the next year or so, it's come up before. But as Cheney has said he "serves at the pleasure of the President", not some little piss-ant staffer who dislikes him.

Rest assured, Cheney will be Vice-President until Innauguration Day 2009 - much to the consternation of those who see him as the "Anti-Christ".

Posted by: Gary at 04:55 PM | Comments (14) | Add Comment
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February 03, 2006

Be Careful What You Wish For

Democrats seem to be all excited about yesterday's election of Rep. John Boehner (pronouned BAY-ner, btw) as the new House Majority Leader. They're painting this as a bad thing for the GOP, which makes no sense. Rich Galen in his Mullings column sums up why they're wrong much better than I could.

John Boehner's personality is the polar opposite of DeLay's. Where DeLay is pugnacious, Boehner is conciliatory. Where DeLay is aggressive, Boehner is understanding. Where DeLay is easy to dislike, Boehner is very easy to … like.

Once again the old saying, "Be careful what you wish for; you may get it" has come to pass. The Democrats in the House wanted to get rid of Tom DeLay. They did.

They got, in his place, John Boehner, a talented leader who will be very difficult to make into the pro-lobbyist, anti-reform monster the House Democrats are looking for.

Republicans will retain the House in the elections of 2006.

With nothing of substance to campaign on, Democrats' only hope to have a chance at taking the House in November would have been if Republican voters were so fed up with the current leadership (i.e. Roy Blunt who would have been a status quo Leader) that they decided to stay home in large numbers. With Boehner, a Gingrich protege who still remembers why Republicans took Congress in 1994, that's not likely to happen.

The prospect of victory just got bleaker yesterday for Democrats.

Oh, and apparently unemployment dropped to 4.7% last month - the lowest in four years. Heh.

Posted by: Gary at 09:15 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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February 02, 2006

New Blood

Congratulations to Rep. John Boehner on his election as the new GOP Majority Leader.

Boehner.jpg

I was hoping for John Shadegg, but in the long run it looks like it was Shadegg's candidacy that at least kept Blunt from getting the vote count he needed to win on the first ballot. The result forced a run-off and Shadegg bowed out, leaving Boehner the winner 122-109. Had Blunt be chosen it would have been a disaster and more of the same. At least this is a step in the right direction.

Boehner is committed to reform, has no taint of Abramoff and - to his credit - has not introduced one single spending earmark during his entire service in the Congress. Hugh Hewitt posts highlights of his Jan. 16th interview with Boehner.

Now if I can just restrain myself from referring to him as "boner"...

Posted by: Gary at 04:40 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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