Michael: The lead duck PresidencyGeorge W. Bush’s Presidency is effectively over. He's not lame, he's lead and sinking fast. He would accomplish as much, and possibly much more, by simply resigning. The GOP may be able to give traction to an heir apparent by having Cheney choose a VP from among the 2008 hopefuls and then resigning in turn. Installing a new handpicked President seems audacious, but, hey, if the Supreme Court can do it...
BushCo is dead in the water politically, and they know it. "You run down the list of things we thought we could accomplish and you have to wonder what we thought we were thinking," says a Bush Administration member who joined on in 2001. "You get the impression that we're more than listless. We're sunk." Clearing the decks may be the only way this Administration can heave off the sandbar it has run aground on before the 2006 and 2008 elections.
A President McCain, or Giuliani, or Romney, almost anyone, really, would have a much better chance at rebuilding the trust of Americans which Bush has squandered in the war in Iraq and waters of Katrina. With most of a term in which to steer the nation onto a new, and hopefully less divisive, GOP course, GOP chances in ’06 and ’08 might improve. Such a plan may not appeal to the younger candidates, as they would forego the possibility of serving two full terms. But at least to McCain, most of 7 years with only one Presidential election campaign would probably sound as good as 8 with two.
Of course, this could never happen. There is no one more sure of his own competence and judgment than a CEO as he runs his company over a cliff. And Bush has a lot of experience with (one might even suspect a fondness for) that particular sensation. The only hope is that Cheney, by far the more savvy businessman, who knows the power of seeming not to be in control, sees things differently, and prevails upon his protégé to walk the plank.