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.
There's no doubt that Rice's popularity around the country is considerably higher than Bush's own, to say nothing of Cheney's poll numbers which rate lower than foot fungus at this point. But there's a serious problem with this. Sure, it could help out the GOP at the mid-terms but it doesn't do anything to set the stage for the 2008 presidential election. Rice has stated loudly and repeatedly that she would not, under any circumstances, run for the Oval Office and would be moving into the private sector at the end of her current job.
I can see the wisdom of Bush dumping Cheney - a drastic move, but probably one of the only things that could start bailing water out of a sinking ship. But the ideal move would be to put a viable 2008 presidential candidate in that office to give them a running start on the next election. But who? Frist? Not likely. McCain? Too much negative history with Bush.
Vice President Lieberman? You never know... he's practically a Republican already.