Who would replace VP Cheney?

So it seems Vice President Cheney is back in the ol’ hospital:


According to a statment form the VP’s office, Mr. Cheney checked himself into the hospital “for repeat cardiac catheterization after experiencing two brief, mild episodes of chest discomfort. This is a non-emergency, precautionary procedure.”

Look–the man has had four heart attacks in the last twenty years. We all know how being in high office ages people. it’s a high-stress job. And Mr. Cheney will be busier than perhaps any VP in history, between providing a strong support for the President’s image and making sure he’s at least as influential and active as Veep as Mr. Gore was. (And like him or loathe him, Gore set the bar awfully high.) My guess is he’ll retire within a year.

Question for discussion, however, is this:

If Mr. Cheney retires during Mr. Bush’s term, who will replace him?

I’m leaning toward Colin Powell at the moment. What say ye, o denizens of the GD deeps?

Oops–check that. Mr Cheney’s first heart attack was 23 years ago.

Beat you to it, andros: Cheney’s in the hospital again … Who will the new VP be?

And Colin Powell’s right out. He wouldn’t take the job last summer, so I doubt he’d take it now.

Cheney will probably also have to break a few straight party-line ties in the Senate. At least for the first two years. That also brings up the point that any senators from states with Democratic governors are probably out of the running as well.

As a point of clarification for a non-US doper, is the appointment of a new VP absolutely the prerogative of the Prez? Does he need to consult/clear the nominee Congress etc. Are there people who might have a claim based on their current position. Could he appoint his father or Jeb? Is there anybody he can’t appoint?

I’m struggling to remember the last time the VP was changed this occurred, has it happened since Agnew?

Seeking enlightenment :slight_smile:

Long answer, courtesy of Findlaw:

Colin Powell is out, he doesn’t want the job. He had his pick of positions last year, all the way up to President. Right now he’s in the job he wants most, Secretary of State. If he wanted to be VP he’d already be VP.

Bush would have to pick a reasonably moderate person, since they’d have to be confirmed by closely split Congress. And he’s therefore much more likely to pick a Senator, since his former colleagues would have a harder time voting against him. It worked for Ashcroft, didn’t it? Or he could pick the Speaker of the House. Except Hastert is another non-entity like Bush…what would be the point of that?

Well, there are 50 Republican Senators…start with as your short list. Eliminate those from states with Democratic governors, plus the obviously unsuitable right-wingers, plus the too old, and too annoying.

Hmmmm…John McCain? Good choice. Never gonna happen.

Anyway, with a little research we could narrow it down to 5 or 6 young moderate republican senators from states with republican governors. Except it’s time for my nap right now…


For an excellent book, both readable and historical, check out Bland Ambition: A History of the Vice Presidents of the United States. One of the funniest books I’ve ever read. Sadly, it stopped at Quayle - I’d have loved to see what he would have written about Gore!


I’m sure they’d offer it to Powell, and he would mull it over for a while like he did in '96. Then he’d unceremoniously turn it down and Gov. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania would get the job.

Yes! Please! Rid my home state of him! PLEASE!


I think that this would be the opportunity of a political lifetime for Bush to appoint a woman to be VP. I even think he’d do it.

Let’s face it- Powell will never take the job. I don’t blame him. Look for a high-profile congresswoman, governer or other public figure. Think Molinari, Whitman, or what about the new incoming president of Brown University? Late of Smith College, daughter of a sharecropper from TX, very heavily into education for everyone.

A minority female VP would go a long way to not only build bridges but hamstring some critics. Maybe it will never happen, but I wouldn’t bet against it.

My father (a general practioner and general all-around smart guy) gives Cheney two years at most. A doctor interviewed on the News Hour with Jim Lehrer a couple of days ago (who was in no way working on the case) agrees with Dad, saying that Cheney’s outlook is not good. I think it’s a given that he’ll be dead soon. The question really is: does he step down, get replaced, or do we wait 'till he kicks off first? The last seems very irresponsible, to me, seeing as he has a known and prominent history of heart problems.

But as to whom–I have no idea. I’m a democrat and honestly don’t know of many republican replacements. (Not that I know of many democratic ones, either, at that.) My vote? Go McCain!


I don’t think Tom Ridge would get the appointment. Ridge is a moderate pro-choice Republican, so I can’t imagine appointing him to such a prestigious position would sit well with the Republican aristocracy. They gave Bush enough crap about appointing Christy Whitman as head of the EPA. I can’t see how one’s stance on abortion has anything to do with environmental policy, but apparently someone does. On the other hand, Ridge will be out of office come 2002, and conservative pro-life Bob Casey, Jr. is said to be a shoe-in to succeed him. Don’t let the fact that Casey is a Democrat confuse you; he’s much farther to the right than Ridge, and even farther to the right of his father, former governor of Pennsylvania and alleged Democrat.

McCain as vice president would work wonders for Republican morale, but even if offered, I can’t imagine he’d take the job. It makes Republicans feel good to talk about the possibility of Colin Powell for any high-level post, but he’ll never take it. What about Montana governor Mark Racicot? That would be my first guess.

However, if Cheney manages to stick around until the mid-term elections, there will be a great number of former Republican Congresspersons suddenly looking for work. That might be the time to do it—if Cheney can hold out that long.