On Christmas day my old friend Milo came for a visit. He watches the Sunday blabfests so that I don't have to, and usually sends me the good bits right away. But what with one thing and another, he didn't think until this afternoon to mention that the Great Man himself made an appearance on Fox News Sunday. He made some startling predictions for 2008, Milo told me. From Milo's description I knew the interview would make good material, so I went and reviewed the video.
It's not that the man's opinions about anything are worth a damn. He has been wrong more spectacularly about more things than just about any of the other very serious people in DC—consistently, laughably wrong.
Were it not for his lofty position, and his personal standing within the tightly interconnected neocon family running the government, he would have been ditched by the TV producers long ago. On the basis of what he actually has to say, the Great Man is demonstrably useless. But no matter how ridiculous his every appearance turns out to be, he's eagerly sought for further interviews.
And predictably, on Fox News Sunday his forecast for 2008 produced some real good 'uns. The biggest "news" was his prediction that there'll be a brokered Republican convention next summer.
CHRIS WALLACE: Mr. Vice President, I know you've said you don't intend to comment on the presidential race –
MR. VICE PRESIDENT: And I won't.
CHRIS WALLACE: - but if you were -
MR. VICE PRESIDENT: I won't go there. You can ask your questions all you want, Chris, but I just cannot allow myself to be drawn into the politics of this campaign. It's just not something, frankly, I feel comfortable doing.
CHRIS WALLACE: If you had to predict what will happen in one month, two months, down the road who will end up –
MR. VICE PRESIDENT: Look, as much as you'd like me to tell you what's going to happen, we just don't know. This race is wide open at this point, and frankly we don't know how the votes will turn out. We haven't decided, the voters haven't decided that yet. We don't even know at this stage who the vice president will be.
CHRIS WALLACE: You mean who the running mate will be?
MR. VICE PRESIDENT: Yes, but he'll become the next Vice President, I'm certain of that much.
CHRIS WALLACE: The Republican candidates will win the election?
MR. VICE PRESIDENT: Of course. But the decision about the running mate will be mostly up to the nominee, if you will. But we don't have one yet, and it's much too early to talk about that. We have several very strong candidates on the Republican side of things, and any one of them I can see becoming president. So there will be a robust primary campaign, and it will be a tough fight, but fair, and I think it's going to come down to the wire frankly.
CHRIS WALLACE: You think it won't be decided for a few months?
MR. VICE PRESIDENT: I think it will end up as a brokered convention, Chris. All the signs are there, and so it will be up to the delegates to choose the best man for the job. And frankly, I think they will have to look beyond the announced candidates to find a compromise that all factions, all wings of the Party can agree on.
CHRIS WALLACE: The eventual nominee won't be any of the current frontrunners?
MR. VICE PRESIDENT: No I'm pretty certain it won't be.
CHRIS WALLACE: You look like you have an idea who will end up being the candidate.
MR. VICE PRESIDENT: I do. I think it's very likely to be Bill Kristol.
CHRIS WALLACE: No kidding?
MR. VICE PRESIDENT: No kidding. Bill has what it takes to win. He's been consistently right on the war on terror. He's universally admired. He knows that you don't come to this town to make friends. He doesn't need to call in advisors to figure out what to think. He takes a line and sticks to it. You won't see him changing course. That's what we need.
Dick Cheney appears to be positioning himself to be the kingmaker, if not the next VP. After Wallace presses him repeatedly about whether he'd agree to be Kristol's running mate, Cheney concedes that "the Party can do with me what it wills."
His predictions about the Democratic race were if anything less credible:
CHRIS WALLACE: I'm back with Dick Cheney discussing his predictions for 2008. Who will the Democrats nominate?
DICK CHENEY: I'd like to think they'd choose Senator Lieberman, but I'm pretty sure they don't have the sense to see he's their best candidate.
CHRIS WALLACE: Plus he's widely despised.
DICK CHENEY: Yes and it's rare that somebody that reviled, frankly, becomes his party's candidate. So I think they'll end up with that funny little guy. The anti-war one.
CHRIS WALLACE: Kucinich?
DICK CHENEY: No, the other one, Paul.
The Vice President also seemed to predict that Lynne Cheney would be elected to the Senate in New England, but then back-tracked. It was a peculiar moment in the interview.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don't want to get ahead of myself on that. Forget I said anything.
Cheney's predictions for Iraq were very much as you'd expect:
- That the Iraqis would discover "new, untapped sources of electricity" in the western deserts
- That "98, 99% of reconstruction projects" would be completed satisfactorily and under budget in 2008
- That NATO would send "an additional 100,000 troops" to take over security in Baghdad
- That "Prime Minister Maliki will convert to Islam" as a good will gesture to the Sunnis
- That Blackwater's image will be restored as it "gradually takes over day to day operations in Fallujah."
Finally, and most surprisingly, the Great Man predicted that the prison at Guantanamo Bay would be closed.
THE GREAT MAN: You'll see, when these guests of the nation are released and they can speak freely about their experiences, it will turn out that they enjoyed the best possible treatment in our care. There will be testimonials to our kindness, frankly a lot of them. All the naysayers will be shown to have exaggerated, if you will, the torture aspect of it.
Milo didn't think the latter was likely to occur, and I have to say I agree with him.