CONDI FOR VEEP?….The latest buzz in Republican circles ? apparently ? is that George Bush is going to dump Dick Cheney as his running mate. The scenario, I assume, would involve a medical report saying that Cheney isn’t up to a second term, leaving Bush free to make a dramatic announcement of a new vice presidential candidate at the convention.

Bruce Bartlett summarizes the basic argument in the Washington Times today: Cheney is a polarizing figure, his approval ratings are low, and he can’t run for president in 2008. So how about Condi Rice instead?

Personally, I think these rumors are nuts. Cheney is perfectly fit to serve a second term, Bush prizes loyalty far too much to replace him, and dumping him would be viewed as a desperate attempt to distance himself from Cheney’s warmongering ways. On all counts, it would be a disaster.

But just like the morbid fascination with Hillary ? She’s going to run! She’s waiting to be drafted! She’s going to be Kerry’s veep! She’s going to sabotage the ticket so her path is clear in 2008! ? this seems to be another conservative fetish that won’t go away. I don’t believe it for a second, but I will say one thing: the fact that it stays alive sure means that there are a lot of Republicans who are awfully nervous about the election this year.

As well they should be with a guy like Cheney on their ticket….

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