Would it make sense for the Republicans to change their racing horse?

I was just wondering whether the pro-Bush crowd would vote for a different republican presidential candidate other than Bush? And if so, how many other voters that have got the mindset “Anyone but Bush” could the republican party reel in by changing their candidate?

Personally - not living in the US and not following too closely, so this is more of a imho, ymmv kind of thing - I think that it’s a close call for Bush right now, but that the odds of the republicans winning would be better if they did something unprecedented and switched a winning candidate. If I were eligible to vote I could see myself voting for Powell. Then again, I’m probably biased as I just want to see Bush removed from power, so if you guys happen to elect Mickey Mouse come November, I’d also be ok with that.

So, what do the rest of you think? Would switching the candidate be a smart move or would that ensure a democratic victory? Is it too late for switching? Can it be done at all?

Bush is already the nominee, so there’s no chance that anyone other than Bush will be running in November, unless Bush suddenly announced he was refusing to run. But that’s not going to happen.

A more interesting question is whether Cheney will step out ‘for health reasons’. If Cheney resigned and Bush picked up, say, John McCain, he’d win in a landslide.
And I think that’s a real possibility. McCain has become increasingly close to the administration in the last few months, and has actually been travelling with Bush campaigning.

However, if it’s going to happen it has to happen soon. Bush needs to have all his ducks in a row for the convention (I think McCain is already slated to give the keynote address, or at least a very significant speaking role). If there’s going to be a change on the ticket, expect to hear about it in the next few weeks.

While not a shoo-in for re-election, Bush is still going to draw an huge number of votes–this will be a tight race. There is no one else whose sudden appearance would draw more votes than Bush. The “anyone but Bush” people are not likely to run out and vote for any other Republican who is associated with the current administration and there would always be the possibility among some Bush supporters that they would see “dumping” Bush as a betrayal and either vote against the replacement or stay home.

There may be a perception among some folks outside the U.S., gleaned from some of the folks on this board, that Bush or his policies or friends are some huge liability for the Republican party. I really doubt that this is the case. (And I suspect that the folks who post, here, that Bush is a goner simply associate with too many people who oppose Bush. There are a number of indicators that suggest that Bush is in trouble, but there are many similar indicators that indicate that Bush will win.)

“Would it make sense for the Republicans to change their racing horse?”

That would be an implicit admission that their support for Bush in the last four years was in error. And admitting to any sort of error is just something Republicans don’t do.

Has there ever been a case of a party choosing someone other than the incumbent to run?

Not that I’m aware of, that’s why I said “unprecedented”. In “my country” it is also common practise for a party to go with whoever won the last election and once they lose, the party is going to pick a new candidate (even though they could still stick with the old candidate, but it never happens either). Still, I believe this is more a question of tradition than a rule they have to follow, hence the question.

Bush is *not * the nominee until the convention. The only comparable precedent in recent times would be Lyndon Johnson’s withdrawal during the 1968 primaries (after he’d *won * New Hampshire, but not by much). Guin, Truman and Coolidge refused to run for reelection after their full terms, but weren’t repudiated by their parties per se.

There is certainly time for Bush to release his delegates and throw the nomination open to the convention, just like old times. But it won’t happen:

  1. It would mean his admitting a mistake,
  2. His administration would be in further chaos compounded by paralysis until Inauguration Day,
  3. The only plausible candidate with clean hands would be McCain, and Bush might rather do almost anything than give him anything,
  4. There is too large a base of real support for him to abandon.

Assuming you mean an incumbent who wanted to be nominated for another term, Grover Cleveland, incumbent in 1892, lost the nomination in 1896 (William Jennings Bryan was the nominee, and McKinley won the election). Cleveland was facing a severe depression that had happened during his second non-consecutive term.

Since then, there have been many incumbent presidents with pretty severe negative baggage who STILL received their party’s nomination - Carter, for instance. In practical terms, no party wants to abandon an incumbent, no matter how out of favor, because it is almost certain defeat, as opposed to a long shot - something MIGHT happen to allow the incumbent to regain their popularity before the election.

It’s not bloody likely, in other words.

No, Cheney will run this year, BUT if they win he will not run as an incumbent VP for the office of president in 2008. Due to ‘personal’ reasons.

If you are familiar with chess strategy you might recall the term “Battery”. It refers to a player maneuvering both of his castles onto the same file, preferably an open file. A file is a row of squares from top to bottom. This is a position of power because you use up the first castle by sending it up the file to capture material while the second waits in not only a defensive but also offensive position. A sacrifice of the first rook leads to a devastating counter bythe second. Since we are dealing with a political dynasty here and Neal Bush dishonored himself (as well as the others IMO) in the savings and lone scandal that leaves Jeb as the second rook. He has been groomed and will be poised to take over as figurehead of the neocon regime.

I see little evidence that who is the VP garners much votes, except perhaps in his home state.

A Republican by the name of Ronald Reagan mounted a credible attempt to off incumbent Gerald Ford in the Republican primaries of 1976.

However, a) Gerald Ford had never been elected Prez, he took over the office when Nixon resigned; and b) Reagan did not succeed.

Jeb might be the one man to f*** the country up more than Bush has. Can’t wait!

Right, and not necessarily then, either. The saying goes “A running mate can’t help you much, he can only hurt you.” Gore for the first clause and Quayle for the second come to mind.

Sam, tell us what recent historical precedents made you draw that conclusion, please.

ElvisL1ves: I didn’t draw my conclusion based on historical precedent. I drew it based on the fact that I’ve been reading an increasing number of commentaries telling Bush to drop Cheney. And John McCain would be the obvious choice if he were willing.

But I don’t think a change is likely. I mentioned it as a possibility greater than Bush dropping out, but my gut tells me there’s a high probability that Bush and Cheney will be on the ticket at election time.

Well, they did just bust Cheney’s physician for snurfing illegally misprescribed narcotic nasal spray (and apparently being addicted to same) and found him unfit to see patients. He’s the dude who certified that Cheney is in appropriate physical condition to do the job and isn’t about to keel over from another heart attack, etc.

If John McCain runs with Bush, it will destroy McCain’s cachet rather than helping Bush much.

So you have again just paraphrased a few bloggers’ blather and presented it as your own original thought? You’d learn more from studying historical precedent.

It is far from “obvious”, for many reasons that have been discussed here. You’re simply repeating that parroted assertion, not supporting it.

Back to the discussion:
Bush wouldn’t save himself by dumping Cheney alone, or even if he dumped Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz, and Perle too. But he doesn’t dare do something that wholesale either in an election year without making himself look untrustworthy to those still inclined to give him their trust. The remaining heart of his campaign is “Stay the course”, after all. It’s become clear to too many of us that the heart of the problem is Bush himself, the chooser and supporter of that team.

[John McLaughlin voice]The answer *is * … Bush and Cheney are going to be the nominees. Eleanor?[/JMcLv]

Answer to the OP: no way.

Bush is everything that the core Republican voters like. If anything, there are those who’s like someone more right-wing, i.e., activist on abortion, cutting federal education funding, etc.

As for the swing voters, Bush really hasn’t alienated as many of them as the Democrats would like to think. Most people still see him as the guy who put forth a strong response to the 9/11 attacks. At best, replacing him will lead the swing voters to wonder what was so terrible that he had to be replaced, and this will not favor his replacement. At worst, it will be seen as a purely political move and the replacement will suffer backlash from it.

And of course, a replacement won’t sway core Democrats in any case.

While Bush is not the nominee yet, his nomination at this point is all but certain. There are no credible candidates challenging him for the nomination. A candidate who wanted to challenge Bush would have had to have started much earlier than this to have mounted a realistic effort.

I also think the window has passed for replacing Cheney with sufficient groundwork laid to make it look like he wasn’t being dumped. Nor do I think it was ever a realistic option; Bush, who would have made the final call on such a plan, is not the type of person to rethink a decision once he’s committed himself to it.

The other alternative is that Bush or Cheney have to leave the ticket because of new revelations or actions which completely discredit them. As I said above, at this point there isn’t enough time to build up a new candidate. The Republicans would have to go with someone whose stature is already established. The only two credible candidates would be McCain and Powell.

Look, why don’t you just leave the personal sniping at home? Go kick your dog or something. Some of us would like to have a discussion for a change without some else having to hold a pissing party over it. Accusations of plagairism with zero evidence are beyond the pale. So stick a sock in it.

Powell certainly would. If he were on a Republican ticket he would undoubtedly attract black votes.

And McCain might. He’s perceived by many as an “outsider”. But this would probably only work if he was running for President. Putting him on the ticket as VP with Bush would probably cost him his “street cred”.

Pierce, Arthur, and Andrew Johnson were all denied renomination by their party. Not coincidentally, all three were Vice Presidents who assumed the office when the President died. And Tyler was so disliked by his own party, he didn’t even try for a second term.