MartiniPundit

Random thoughts and insights – always shaken, never stirred

An Rx for Musical Chairs

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Fred Barnes – with whom I often find myself in agreement – had an interesting opinion piece in the Wall Street journal yesterday suggesting that President Bush needs to shake up his cabinet, thus embarking on some sort of ersatz “third term.” It’s an unusual prescription for a way for out of the present doldrums, but I think it may be asking too much.

The first move I agree with and think is necessary no later than early next year:

The president’s most spectacular move would be to anoint a presidential successor. This would require Vice President Cheney to resign. His replacement? Condoleezza Rice, whom Mr. Bush regards highly. Her replacement? Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, whose Bush-like views on Iraq and the war on terror have made him a pariah in the Democratic caucus.

And while I hadn’t given much thought to Rice’s successor at State, I actually rather like the idea of Lieberman. If nothing else, it might dent some of the vituperative partisanship the Democrats display so often in confirmation hearings.

The next idea, however, strikes me as flat-out wrong:

Mr. Cheney would probably be happy to step down and return to Wyoming. But it would make more sense for him to move to the Pentagon to replace Donald Rumsfeld as defense secretary, a job Mr. Cheney held during the elder Bush’s administration.

In fact, I see two things wrong with it. First, Rumsfeld has done a stellar job at defense, not the least in the transformation of the military from a force designed to fight big wars into a force that can fight little wars. Rumsfeld needs to finish that job. This is not to say that I don’t think Cheney isn’t up to the job – he manifestly is. However, apart from the fact that one does not go from being Vice President of the United States to cabinet secretary, the very thing Barnes wants – a shake up and a fresh start – would be impossible with Cheney the old warhorse in the picture.

I’m less interested in the other appointments – treasury et al., but there is merit in the suggestion that Karl Rove ought to become the head of the Republican National Committee. If only for the paroxysms of spleen that will erupt from the Kossacks and their ilk.

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Written by martinipundit

March 21, 2006 at 10:32 am

Posted in 2008 Election, Politics

Tagged with ,

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