"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


This is the funniest thing I've ever read in U.S. News:
Sparked by today's Washington Post story that suggests Vice President Cheney's office is involved in the Plame-CIA spy link investigation, government officials and advisers passed around rumors that the vice president might step aside and that President Bush would elevate Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

"It's certainly an interesting but I still think highly doubtful scenario," said a Bush insider. "And if that should happen," added the official, "there will undoubtedly be those who believe the whole thing was orchestrated – another brilliant Machiavellian move by the VP."

Said another Bush associate of the rumor, "Yes. This is not good." The rumor spread so fast that some Republicans by late morning were already drawing up reasons why Rice couldn't get the job or run for president in 2008.

"Isn't she pro-choice?" asked a key Senate Republican aide. Many White House insiders, however, said the Post story and reports that the investigation was coming to a close had officials instead more focused on who would be dragged into the affair and if top aides would be indicted and forced to resign.

"Folks on the inside and near inside are holding their breath and wondering what's next," said a Bush adviser. But, he added, they aren't focused on the future of the vice president. "Not that, at least not seriously," he said.

Now, I don't believe for a moment that Cheney is seriously considering resigning the Presidency Vice-Presidency - not now, at least. Cheney's the sort of guy you think of when you see that old Saturday Night Live skit where Frank Sinatra (Phil Hartman) screams "You don't scare me! I got chunks of guys like you in my stool!" He believes he's too evil to die, and you have to admit that the weight of the evidence is on his side.

But I love that the rumors are flying, and that people are responding to them. I especially love that the responses are clearly off-balance and off-script (and I really love the source that worries about Condi being pro-choice!). They're off their game, and as long as they're playing defense that means someone else must be playing offense. And, really, that's all I've been asking.

Update: I swear I had not yet seen this post at Obsidian Wings when I wrote and titled my own post! If I had, I probably would have tried to steal the oblique Clinton reference, too.




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