Inconvenient News,
       by smintheus

Saturday, April 22, 2006

  The knives come out for Cheney?

The London Sunday Times has a slightly breathless story on GOP discontent with Bush's faux shakeup: Dump Cheney for Condi, Bush urged. The urging seems to be eminating from a relatively few pharynges.

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.

They believe that only the sacrifice of one or more of the big beasts of the jungle, such as Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, will convince voters that Bush understands the need for a fresh start.

The jittery Republicans claim Bush’s mini-White House reshuffle last week will do nothing to forestall the threat of losing control of Congress in the November mid-term elections....

[Fred] 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 article also quotes an anonymous 'Republican strategist' as saying “If I were Bush I would think of changing Cheney. It is one of the few substantial things he can do to change the complexion of his administration. The rest is nibbling around the edges.”

For the most part, though, this is Fred Barnes' show, plus a light dusting of Beltway chatter. On the face of it, that does not amount to much. But it would be strange for Barnes to be shooting his mouth off quite like this, unless he thought that Cheney is indeed vulnerable. I might like to know more about the circumstances in which Barnes said (or blabbed?) these things to the reporter, Sarah Baxter.

So, are the knives out yet? Or is it the fingering of scabbards that we hear?


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