I’d like to follow-up on Trunk’s post from yesterday about Tod Lindberg’s dinner with Vice President Cheney, and the possibility that Cheney will run for president in 2008. No Power Line regular will be surprised to read that Cheney is my number one choice. I first speculated on the possibility of his candidacy back in early October of last year. Then, I said that the key issues were (1) will Bush be re-elected, (2) will Bush be popular as 2008 draws near, and (3) will Cheney agree to run. Let’s think about the two issues that remain.
President Bush’s approval rating has hovered at around 50 percent for quite some time. It needs to be significantly higher for Cheney to be a strong candidate to succeed him. Often, moreover, presidents lose popularity towards the end of their second term. However, Bush is not your average second term president — he’s much more vigorous and he’s likely to have a friendly Congress throughout his term. Plus, he’ll have opportunities to deal boldly with high stakes problems in ways that could substantially enhance (or diminish) his popularity.
Cheney’s willingness to run will depend in the first instance on his health. Beyond that, I still believe what I suggested in October — if it is put to the vice president that he needs to run in order to avoid the election of a Democrat in 2008, and if he believes this to be true, there’s a good chance that he will answer the call.
Here’s Larry Kudlow’s take on this question.
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