Reuters Fantasy: What If Cheney Quit?

Reuters fantasizes what would happen if Vice President Dick Cheney quit? What would happen next? Who would replace him? Who would play him (or Condi) on "Saturday Night Live" I’m sure that it raised a few hopes. It starts out documenting Cheney’s health problems and ads in an easy little jab:

The game has been played frequently in recent years, usually after the vice president, who has suffered several heart attacks, has had a health scare or has done something particularly embarrassing, like blasting a fellow hunter with birdshot.

The article runs through the various people in the media who have played the “what if” game of who would replace the Vice President from former Texas Democratic congressman Martin Frost online with Fox News to the the media in the UK:

The British media took up the theme. The Evening Standard asked "Will a blood clot force Cheney to step down?" and reported "widespread speculation that if Mr. Cheney is unable to complete his term in office through ill health he will be replaced by Secretary of State Condoleza Rice.

Next up is Larry Sabato, who is the former Democratic operative-turned college prof who notoriously went on Hardball claiming that he just knew that Senator George Allen used the “N-word” but later was forced to admit that he didn’t actually hear Allen say the word:

Larry Sabato, a professor at the University of Virginia, told the online Cybercast News Service that if Rice were interested in the presidency and became vice president, the other Republicans in the 2008 race would have no chance."Right now, this seems wide open, you have a few top-tier candidates," he said. "But the situation can change quickly if Bush picks Rice as his new vice president."Interesting to think about, perhaps, but is it likely? Hardly, say political aides on Capitol Hill and analysts who study the vice presidency.

Would a Cheney resignation and Bush appointment to the VP position give a “boost” to a 2008 Republican Presidential contender? The anonymous aide says, “Only a fool” would take that career-killer and be “saddled with defending the administration” instead of staying on message.

"There is no speculation over here of him stepping down," said a Republican leadership aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "I don't know why he would. He isn't the one who got convicted."

Would a Cheney resignation and Bush appointment to the VP position give a “boost” to a 2008 Republican Presidential contender? The anonymous aide says, “Only a fool” would take that career-kiilling move and be “saddled with defending the administration” instead of staying on message.After all of this Democratic fantasizing about the dream that Dems go to while stuck in traffic, getting a root canal or when forced to listen to some girl's Celine Dion ringtones while waiting in line at Whole Foods, they get a wake-up call from Steven Hess, from the Brookings Institute:

Speculation that Bush might replace Cheney is "silly talk," said Stephen Hess, a presidential scholar at the Brookings Institute."No serious political analyst can make a case that he would or should resign," he said."I don't see Cheney resigning," added Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University. "Bush and Cheney both believe they have to play this hand out and they have to succeed or they are both toast historically."

Ouch, all around the country, there are lots of Dixie Chicks fans weeping after reading that. Well, they still have their fantasy; at least they don’t have to pay $4.99 a minute for it.