Sparked by today's Washington Post story that suggests Vice President Cheney's office is involved in the Plame-CIA spy link investigation, government officials and advisers passed around rumors that the vice president might step aside and that President Bush would elevate Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.Atrios injects a good point- that it's not so much the possibility that Cheney will resign as that the rumours actually exist in the first place.
"It's certainly an interesting but I still think highly doubtful scenario," said a Bush insider. "And if that should happen," added the official, "there will undoubtedly be those who believe the whole thing was orchestrated – another brilliant Machiavellian move by the VP."
Said another Bush associate of the rumor, "Yes. This is not good." The rumor spread so fast that some Republicans by late morning were already drawing up reasons why Rice couldn't get the job or run for president in 2008.
As for VP Rice... the Republicans who are drafting anti-Rice talking points clearly see the writing on the wall. Whoever takes over the job is a guaranteed frontrunner in 2008. If they can even remotely claim that they "turned things around", they'll be a serious contender in the primary at the very least.
That said, I can't see a situation where Rice wouldn't get walloped by the Dem. African-Americans and liberals wouldn't vote for her because she's a Republican, and a lot of conservatives wouldn't vote for her for very, very obvious reasons that have [b]nothing at all[/b] to do with abortion. Even Hillary could take her, and I remain convinced that a Clinton nomination would be disastrous against all but the weakest Republican nominees.
On the other hand, is there anybody left in the Republican party who isn't either compromised by Plame or Abramoff? She might simply be the last woman standing. Hell of a way to get the VP job, but certainly plausible.