Republicans Call for Dumping Cheney for Rice

A stroy in the Sunday Times of London reports that “Republicans are urging President George W Bush to dump Dick Cheney as vice-president and replace him with Condoleezza Rice if he is serious about presenting a new face to the jaded American public.”

It turns out, though, that this is only technically true. That is, there is no evidence of a massive movement within the GOP to do this but there are Republicans, at least one of whom you’ve heard, who think this would be a good idea.

Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard magazine and author of Rebel in Chief, a sympathetic new biography of Bush, said: “There are going to have to be sweeping personnel changes if people are going to take a second look at the Bush presidency.” Barnes, who is close to the White House, said he believed Cheney would be willing to stand down in order to help Bush. “It’s unlike Bush to dump somebody whom he likes and respects,” he cautioned. “But the president needs to do something shocking and dramatic such as putting in Condoleezza Rice.”

The others? “Tom Edmonds, a leading Republican consultant” and “One Republican strategist, who did not want to be named.” And, actually, Edmonds does not actually mention Cheney and ORSWDNWTBN did not mention Rice.

No matter, it’s a groundswell.

Of course, Barnes is known to take the occasional flight of fancy. Last month, he was talking about a big game of musical chairs which would elevate Rice to VP, bring Joe Lieberman in at State, and send Cheney over to Defense to oust Rumsfeld. This, oddly, was just a year after suggesting that Dick Cheney should run for president in 2008.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. I just can’t see President Bush dumping Cheney. And I can’t imagine how dumping him could be spun in a manner that would provide the president a political advantage.

  2. Bhoe says:

    How in the world does the Sunday Times consider Condi Rice a “new face”? She has been at the nerve center of the Bush camp since even before he was elected.

  3. legion says:

    A number of pundits have reflected that Bush can’t (politically) fire Rumsfeld, since it would invalidate everything he’s tried to achieve in Iraq – it would be seen as an admission (right or wrong) that the ‘leftys’ we correct all along.

    I’m still not certain, but I have a feeling they may be right. If so, how big an admission of failure would it be to dump Cheney? While Rice would be an intriguing choice if Cheney gets too… legally entangled to continue in office, she’d have to be stone-cold nuts to accept. Remember the bin Laden PDB? Imagine that all over again, in a potentially Dem-controlled Congressional confirmation hearing.

    That should be enought to put the Fear of God into any Repblican…