D'Amato: Drop Dick!

Published July 8, 2004 6:04PM (EDT)

It's unlikely that President Bush will dump Dick Cheney this election year, but that's just what former Republican senator Al D'Amato says he should do, according to today's New York Times. And who would blame him for saying so? The vice president hates to campaign, swears like a sailor and can easily claim to be one of the most divisive figures in the Bush administration. Plus, a new poll announced on last night's NBC Nightly News shows that Americans would take the "inexperience" of John Edwards over the coldness of Dick Cheney. The Washington Post's Dan Froomkin explains: "When asked who they would prefer, upon the death of the president, if the vice president had to serve as president, Edwards outpolled Cheney 45 percent to 38 percent.

"'It really is striking,' [Tim] Russert said. 'We had assumed that an incumbent vice president, with the gravitas of Dick Cheney, would do much better than that against the inexperienced John Edwards.'

"Mark Murray of NBC goes through yet more results and writes: 'Moreover, when asked who is more optimistic about the future of the country, 49 percent said Edwards, while just 28 percent chose Cheney.'

"Keep in mind that optimism is arguably the paramount theme of the Bush/Cheney message."

Maybe Bush, in sticking with his V.P. choice, just doesn't want to risk losing Wyoming's three electoral votes.

By Stephen W. Stromberg

Stephen W. Stromberg is a former editorial fellow at Salon.

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