January 28, 2004

Cheney Out, Rudy In?

By the way, the Intelligence Bulletins you're used to seeing in the monthly issue haven't disappeared. They're just being remodeled. Instead of publishing them just once a month...I plan on publishing them a lot more often...several times a week...when they're more relevant to the markets and more timely. Stay tuned...and in the meantime...I'm going to include more frequent discussion of what's going in the political world...today...the Vice President. He's got a bad heart, a crooked smile, and a mean streak. Paul O'Neill compared him to the Praetorian Guard that guarded--and controlled--Rome's weaker emperors. Democrats hate him. And the media won't let go of the Halliburton story. What exactly does Dick Cheney have going for him? He hasn't reigned in the President on spending. He's not popular with the practical realist friends of George Bush's father (Scowcroft and Baker). And he's not nearly as telegenic as John Edwards or John Kerry. The problem is, there aren't too many known-commodity conservatives Bush could replace Cheney with that would be "acceptable" to the bedrock right of his party. The current crop of Republicans with national recognition are all far more liberal than Cheney (George Pataki and Rudy Giuliani.) Newt Gingrich and Bill Bennett are conservative...but have as much, if not more baggage, than Cheney. Condolleza Rice isn't ready for prime time. And Colin Powell won't win many friends at National Review. Who's left that secures Bush's base but doesn't alarm the electorate? For conservatives, the cupboard is pretty bare, which is surprising, given that Republicans have been in power in Washington for the last two years. In fact, the Bush presidency is turning out to like Reagan's third term only in terms of deficit spending. Nearly everywhere else...Bush is looking a lot more like Bill Clinton than Ronald Reagan.


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