Cheney dies... does he get replaced?

Not a “Bush dies” presidential replacement thread. We’ve covered that enough. But what happens if Cheney’s latest chest pain turns terminal? Does the VP get replaced, or do we just muddle along without him? (After all…what does he do, anyway?)

Well, last time we lost a vice president without losing a president as well…Agnew’s resignation…he was replaced. Gerald Ford was nominated by President Nixon and confirmed by the Senate.

What does he do? Well, aside from being ready to take over if the president dies, he also breaks ties in the Senate, which is probably more important right now than at any previous time in American history.

1970’s (can’t remember the exact year - 1973?)

Nelson Rockefeller (Nixon’s V.P.) died in office.
Replaced with Gerald Ford.

Then Nixon resigned afterwards…

Actually Ford and Rockefeller (who didn’t die in office, it was Agnew who resigned), were confirmed not just by the Senate, but by the House as well under the terms of the 25th Amendment.

Ignore my previousd post.
Mixed upo NY and US history.
Like I said, she’s not happy with me.
But he does ghet replaced.

Small correction: when a Vice President must be replaced, the President nominates a candidate, and the House of Representatives must confirm him.

THAT was precisely why Richard Nixon nominated Gerald Ford, a long-time member of the House of Representatives, to replace Spiro Agnew. The Democrats had an overwhelming majority in the House, at the time, and might well have rejected most other possible Republican choices (remember, if Nixon had been impeached while there was no Vice President, the Presidency would have gone to Democratic House Speaker Carl Albert).

Nixon hoped that Ford’s standing in the House would make for an easy confirmation… and it did.

Here’s the relevant section of the 25th Amendment –
Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

The mechanics of the whole thing would be interesting, because with the passing of the current VP, the Senate would be a dead heat, meaning that with perfect unity the Democrats could block the confirmation of the new nominee. Therefore, the selection of the nominee could be a political minefield. Several things might occur.

Because of a lack of majority on either side, the Republicans might have to settle on a far more moderate candidate than our current President would prefer. A first guess on my part would be none other than John McCain, although I doubt he wants the job, and I don’t know if a Republican replacement can be guaranteed by Arizona.

Recently unseated Senators would be a logical source of nominees. One name I know you won’t see mentioned is that of Slade Gorton. Last week, Senate Republicans sent the President a letter endorsing Gorton for an appointment as a judge to the 9th Circuit. Two Republican Senators declined to sign: McCain and Ben Campbell. So he’s definitely out.

Possibly more likely, Bush would likely look to a sitting or ex-governor. A super-wild pitch: the name Doug Wilder, a Virginia Democrat (meaning slightly less hard-core Republican) might come up. He’s a pretty popular Republicrat, and at the risk of sounding cynical, his nomination might be a great way to rope in a certain sector of the population that Republicans apparently felt compelled to disenfranch-- that did not significantly vote Bush’s way in this past election. When they were allowed to v–no! Stop! This is GQ… must control… self.

The final solution is to filibuster the crap out of the Senate until either Strom Thurmond or Robert Byrd keels over. Then, call a quorum and either confirm or deny the nominee. That could get ugly.

There might be another angle. If Cheney feels compelled to resign, the nomination for Cheney’s replacement might first be submitted to the Senate, and confirmed by Cheney’s own tie-breaker vote. Then he could step down and allow the House confirmation to easily pass.

On the surface, it would seem to contradict Art. 2 of the 25th, but hey, all Bush has to do is kick the case up to the Supreme Court…

Sofa King:

Maybe your name should be Socyn Ical.

Bush definitely wouldn’t appoint a Democrat; he doesn’t want to lose the Republican majority in the Senate. And he wouldn’t appoint John McCain: there’s bad blood between the two. In fact, the Administration wouldn’t even allow McCain to sit in on campaign finance reform talks, and CFR is McCain’s own baby!

I should think the elephant in the living room here is Jeb Bush. Eve even started a thread some months ago suggesting Dubya chose Cheney as his running mate knowing he’d have to resign, so he (Dubya) could then appoint his brother.

I’m not sure this would be legal. After JFK chose RFK to be his Attorney General, didn’t they pass nepotism laws to prevent that from happening again?

So he could elect Clinton for VP? Hmmm.

If Chaney dies, I think Bush becomes President. Or maybe Colin Powell does. No, wait. Donald Rumsfeld!

That would have been a really dumb move, as Bush chose Cheney before he knew that the Republicans would control the Senate and House. Not that you guys are going to accept disproving something based on the premise that Bush isn’t a complete idiot.

It seems pretty clear to me that the nomination of a new Vice President comes after the vacancy occurs. I mean, it seems pretty obvious, and the Supreme Court, while not entirely unbiased, really aren’t going to blatantly ignore the Constitution on such a clear issue.

I don’t see any nepotism law in the Constitution regarding who can be vice-president.

I think these conspiracy theories are similar to the ones last year saying that Gore was going to resign to allow Clinton to serve a third term.

Perhaps some of the folks who want to discuss the politics of this, as opposed to the mechanics, would be interested in this thread.

There’s also one in IMHO.

It’s going to take a lawyer to lay down the smack on whether or not Jeb could be appointed VP, but I think it is going to come down to the Anti-nepotism Act, 5 USC Sec. 3110:

So I guess that leaves out Jeb, and Poppy, for that matter. (yes, Poppy still has six years of eligibility left as President, so he could be a VP under anyone else)

Allow me to bold some different items:

I don’t think the position of VP counts as being in an agency as defined.


Just for the record, I didn’t mean to suggest I subscribe to any such “conspiracy theories.” I mentioned Eve’s thread only because it was relevant to the issue.

Sorry, “conspiracy theory” was too strong a term, but the Bush/Cheney thing isn’t much different from the Clinton/Gore Third Term speculation.

It just ain’t gonna happen.

George W. Bush most likely would not want his brother to be vice-president I think. There would be little to gain.

if dick cheney dies, we should have him sent to a very good taxidermist and sat in a chair behind the oval office desk with a good, stern look on his face. he’d look more lifelike than dubya.