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August 30, 2004

McCain for Cheney?

So says the rumor mill, according to William Kristol, according to Soxblog, according to Instapundit.

A month ago I would have dismissed this as hooey. But at this point I don't rule anything out.

I guess one thing we know about Bush is that he is determined to 1) not be Clinton and especially to 2) not be his dad.

Well, his dad stuck with an unpopular Vice President and lost, right?

If you read this site on Bloglines, you might have noticed a deleted post that went missing from this site but showed up on Bloglines. I deleted the post because I thought it was silly (that's what I renamed it in draft form). But heck, maybe it wasn't:

Dick Cheney Outs Out-Daughter Before Dropping Out?

Cheney's heartfelt break from Bush on gay "marriage"-- the ultimate "Leaving for Family Reasons" pretext before a veep swap?

See, right before the Vice Presidential address, Dick Cheney announces he's departing, and John McCain/Rudy Guiliani/Tom Ridge/Gary Busey joins the ticket.

Bush loves suprises, right?

Now, I've always shot down these silly speculations. But this one is different. I thought of it.

See? Completely different.


(Back to today.)

One more bit of evidence: Karl Rove is promising that Bush will be "bold" at the convention. Why is he heightening expectations? Especially because, let's face it, there seems to be very definite limits to how bold he can possibly be, policy-wise. His foreign policy is bold, but we already know that; he certainly can't announce he'll be even bolder (i.e., the airstrikes on NK and Iran begin in five minutes). And it's not "bold" to promise "more of the same."

Domestic-policy-wise, Republicans have a limited ability to be "bold," since the very foundation of the Republican party is (generally) against additional spending or government programs. Sure, Bush could be "bold" by cancelling or cutting back programs, but that's not the sort of thing you do to reach out to mushy moderates. There's just no money available in the budget, so what on earth could he be "bold" about? John Forbes Kerry is "boldly" promising to bankrupt the country by pouring $1 billion of money we don't have into insuring the uninsured; surely Bush won't (can't) match him dollar-for-dollar in terms of such boldness.

So why is Karl Rove increasing expectations when he really ought to be managing them?

I don't know. Maybe he's just trying to attract viewers (especially conservative viewers), and he figures that it's more important to get people to watch than to actual deliver on his promise of "boldness."

Or maybe he's planning a truly "bold" stroke that won't cost the American taxpayer a dime (at least not directly).

Democratic Rumor? But of course this could all be a Democrat-driven rumor, designed to increase expectations and thereby lead, inevitably, to disappointment.

Democrats know full well how disappointing it is, in political terms, to not land McCain as a vice presidential candidate, having failed to do so themselves.

Update-- Jhaaaannnnnn! Aaron Burr predicts the Democratic response, should John McCain join the Bush ticket.

John Soonian McCain?

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posted by Ace at 02:20 PM

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