Tuesday, February 28, 2006

How many vice-presidents "retire" ?

This piece cites "senior G.O.P. sources" who "envision" the "retirement" of Dick Cheney "months after the congressional elections" next year.
Don't you just love the language of politics? I'd be willing to bet that these same "sources" would rise up in flaming indignation if the same line of opaque but probably accurate speculation came from a political opponent. If I were a publisher I couldn't print such stuff without grinning.

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.
The sources said the accidental shooting highlighted the lack of communications between Bush and Cheney staffers. They said at one point, the president held what was termed a private conversation with Mr. Cheney regarding the Feb. 11 incident. Hours later, Mr. Cheney, who kept away from reporters, explained the incident in an interview with Fox News on Feb. 15.

"Nobody on the president's staff could get to Cheney, let alone tell him what to do," the source said. "At that point, the president picked up the phone and suggested that Cheney get his story out fast."

The sources said Mr. Cheney, 65, has been struggling with the departure of his closest aides. In addition to Mr. Libby, Mr. Cheney's media adviser, Steve Schmidt, has left to manage the re-election campaign of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Mr. Bush, the sources said, has rejected the advice from circles close to his father, the former president, to dismiss Mr. Cheney. They say Mr. Bush has long regarded Mr. Cheney as the experienced hand in national security, as well as being trusted by the conservative wing of the Republican Party.

"The Libby case is far more lethal than the hunting accident," another GOP source said. "If the heat gets too much, Cheney might say his health requires him to leave office. Whatever happens, the president will make sure it's handled delicately."

Come to think of it, it makes me grin just to read it. Delicately, indeed. Looks like "sources" are busy these days. If I were Cheney I would take stuff like this about as delicately as a punch in the stomach.

H/T blogsnow

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