Talking Points doesn’t think today’s double-barreled court decisions make it any more likely that George W. Bush will be our next president.
But it’s starting to look pretty clear that Dick Cheney will be.
Most observers have lauded President Clinton’s willingness to put vice-president Gore’s talents to use during their two terms in the office. But here’s one of the reasons you don’t want to use the vice-president as a de facto prime minister (or, let’s be honest, a de facto president.)
What if the president and the vice-president have a falling out? Or what if they break on a significant point of policy. With a Chief of Staff or a Secretary of State or a senior advisor, this isn’t a problem. The president fires them. Or they resign. But Bush can’t fire Dick Cheney. The vice-presidency is a constitutional office.
Now, I’m willing to admit that it’s hard to figure how Bush and Cheney would break on a significant policy issue since Cheney seems to tell Bush what to think on every policy issue.
But, hey, maybe W. will start reading books after he’s sworn in as president. Maybe he’s not dumb, just a late-bloomer?
Anyway, it’s worth thinking about.