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By John Wilkes from

Laugh it off for now, but there's considerable reason to believe that the GOP presidential ticket in 2012 could feature a very familiar surname.

Seven or eight months ago, one might have described the whole idea of a new Bush or even a Cheney administration as near-unthinkable.  But as pundits put aside the idle pondering and begin to really parse out the likelihood of the 2012 presidential race, it's almost impossible to rule either of them out.

For one thing, the Republican Party- despite a strong month during the August recess- is still bereft of any new leadership.  As the months have progressed, there has been no GOP figurehead to emerge as the true voice of the opposition.  What's more is that the field of potential Republican leaders seems to be shrinking.  Back in January, the average pundit probably would have cited seven or eight names as potential GOP presidential candidates for 2009: Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, former Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, former Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina, and Senator John Ensign of Nevada.  Four of those names can essentially be stricken from the list.

The power vacuum at the top of the Republican Party is already starting to draw some names from the past.  Rick Santorum, the Republican former Senator from Pennsylvania, is admittedly considering a Presidential bid.  So is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

In that case, someone like Jeb Bush is almost impossible to overlook.  The two-term former Governor of Florida left office with some of the highest approval numbers of any chief executive in the Sunshine State in the last 20 years, despite the fact that when he was termed out in 2006, his brother's approval rating in the White House were nothing short of dismal.  Bush's resume is undeniable, having managed one of the largest economies in the country.  But what's more important is that the fervency behind the anti-Bush campaign seems- in large part- to have dissipated.  He'd make every bit as good a candidate as his brother did, with a more formal speaking style and calmer, more reasoned approach to policy.  Plus, he'd enter the fold with a lock on one of the largest electoral prizes nationwide.  It certainly might be enough to get him the Republican nomination.  When there was talk of him running for the Senate in 2010, early polls showed him to be a runaway favorite against any primary or general election opponent.  (His deciding not to seek that seat may be an indication in and of itself of what's to come for the former Governor.)

Now, this next one might be a bit more of a stretch: the Wall Street Journal recently ran an article suggesting the possibility that Cheney could be viable in 2012.  Especially considering the recent revelations by the Justice Department and Homeland Security of foiled terror plots in New York City and elsewhere, terrorism- for better or for worse- remains an issue.  Dick Cheney was the face of the War on Terror over the last eight years.  If it were to become a central issue in the campaign, as it largely was in 2004, Cheney would have more than a shot.  The real question is, would he want it?  In all likelihood, the answer would be no, though it's certainly possible.  His health would be a minor threshold issue, but keep in mind that in 2012, he'll be younger than John McCain was in 2008.

Either way, don't overestimate the distrust of the Bush or Cheney names when it comes to future national contests.  If Jeb Bush could distinguish himself from George in the right ways, with the rest of his background and current popularity, he'd have all the potential in world to be successful.  For Cheney, the mood of the nation would have to be just so, but it's not beyond the realm of imagination.

Originally posted to eyesonobama on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 08:15 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Well, it was an interesting read, but have you (0+ / 0-)

      learned nothing from the past couple of presidential election cycles?

      The mainstream media will have it's cast of dozens up until about Sept or Oct of 2011.  From then until late January 2012, the primaries will sort out just whom the actual candidates will be.

      Until then, it's all just speculation.

      Personally, I'm betting on a no-name from the 'heartland' to end up as the GOP headliner.  One who has been thoroughly vetted by the RNC, to avoid another Sarah Palin.

      Can the GOP rehabilitate itself in four short years?  Maybe, but it depends entirely on how much (and what kind of) legislation the Obama Administration manages to shepherd through Congress on the leading issues of the day - Ending the Iraqi Occupation, Healthcare Reform, Afghanistan Insurgency, Financial Reforms (banking, bankruptcy, front-running stock trading, etc.) and finally, Global Warming and Green Energy.

      But again, that's just my speculation.

  •  Jeb will run in 2016 (4+ / 0-)

    He'll run and win Nelson's Senate seat in 2012.  I'll predict a Romney/Patreaus ticket for 2012.

    Cheney isn't going to run, unless it's Liz Cheney.

    •  It is more likely to be Petraeus/Romney (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Angie in WA State

      -- the same newness/experience pattern as Bush/Cheney and Obama/Biden. Unless, of course, it looks like a certain landslide for Obama by then -- with an economic recovery, decent health care and a restoration of America's reputation. I frankly don't think Petraeus can ride Afghanistan into the White House because few care all that much about what happens to that country (unless bin Laden is the Head of State or the US is bogged down in a seemingly endless war).

      We have only just begun and none too soon.

      by global citizen on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 08:42:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No -- the GOP ALWAYS gives it to the next in line (0+ / 0-)

        and that's Romney. Huckabee and Palin and Newt and Santorum will make him appear 'centrist' and he'll dominate the big states in the primaries -- and NH is a lock.

        And without a booming economy -- it's going to be a tough, tough election. Remember -- progressives will be sitting on their hands because so many of them have decided that 8 months into his presidency -- Barack Obama hasn't changed the world so what's the point?

        And you can kiss Indiana, North Carolina and likely Florida and Ohio goodbye. Maybe Virginia and Colorado.

        Without the passion and push from progressives and the loss of the independents, 2012 will be as close as 2004 and may break the other way.

        •  Since you seem to be fixated on progressives (0+ / 0-)

          then maybe you might try working to get some progressive legislation passed so that they're happy to vote for Obama in 2012, rather than going the Gore 2000 route of ignoring and marginalizing them.

          Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

          by Ezekial 23 20 on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 09:03:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  They can make him look centrist, but (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          they can't make him look like someone who sems to know what he is doing (though there were actually people who though Sarah Palin did for a while and he can read a teleprompter). I admit that he would have a good chance in some circumstances and a continuing weak economy would serve Romney very well. Recovery by then is crucial.

          We have only just begun and none too soon.

          by global citizen on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 09:08:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  About "next in line" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          A very very wingutty friend of mine (who's a pal despite this gaping flaw) once told me the same thing. His words were, roughly, "They always give the next guy in line his chance, this year it's McCain's turn." So I asked him, "They do, huh? What about that whole democracy and will-of-the-voters thing?" I didn't get an answer.

          •  they = GOP caucus/primary voters (0+ / 0-)

            That is how they select their nominees, you know.

            Same as the Democratic Party.

            It simply happens that, when there is no incumbent GOP President running, the GOP almost always gives it to a candidate who previously ran but came in econd.

    •  remember (0+ / 0-)

      that a high percentage of Jeb's voters have now died of old age.  He's clever, and evil - but I'd be surprised if he could win anything in Florida 8 years from now.

      "There is nothing like having to correct the spelling when somebody paints 'faggot' across your garage door." - Leon Carp

      by hpchicago on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 10:58:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The actual "dream ticket" (6+ / 0-)

    our local loons are hoping for is Palin/Rubio or Rubio/Palin.  They claim that would be an unbeatable ticket...They cannot be convinced that reality is their friend.

    ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

    by Kristina40 on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 08:19:26 AM PDT

  •  Not Dick, but Liz? (7+ / 0-)

    A Jeb Bush/Liz Cheney ticket would be ideologically in line with the GOP. Can't see them getting anything more than the Teabagger vote.

    Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

    by The Raven on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 08:20:23 AM PDT

    •  It's not about being (5+ / 0-)

        ideologically in line. It's about winning. The GOP wants to beat Obama. They are not going to put up a Bush when the country is rightly appalled by what his brother did as President. And they certainly aren't going to put up another who is even as remotely unqualified as Sarah Palin for V.P.

        Liz Cheney is one of the few people that would be less qualified than Palin. She has no credentials.

        It's not about ideology. It's about winning. The GOP wants to win...just like we did in 2004. If we had cared about ideology, Howard Dean would have gotten the nod. We wanted to win. Kerry was viewed as our best chance.

        The Republicans will enter 2012 with the same mentality. That's why Palin won't get the nomination. Neither will Jeb Bush. This is going to be a Romney/Huckabee/Pawlenty fight.

      •  That's my take on it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Agreed - the words "Bush/Cheney" are toxic and they'll need something better. I'm thinking it's going to be Romney for pres, and no idea on VP.

        Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

        by The Raven on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 08:30:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  My garbageman would be better qualified than (0+ / 0-)

        Sarah Palin, so I fail to see how Liz Cheney would be less qualified.

        Cheney has the evil down pat, she'd just need an advisor or three whispering in her ear to make sure she kept it directed as the corporations desire.

        Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

        by Ezekial 23 20 on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 09:00:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  your garbageman (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ezekial 23 20

          has done a job that's useful and needed.  Same cannot be said for Sara or Liz.

          "There is nothing like having to correct the spelling when somebody paints 'faggot' across your garage door." - Leon Carp

          by hpchicago on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 10:52:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Cheney (0+ / 0-)

           has never held elected office, nor has she held any foreign policy post of distinction. Her authority was minimal and her mouth big enough for her own foot.

           Palin, at least, had been in public service before. Liz Cheney has not. That's what I meant...if there is anyone on this planet less qualified than Sarah Palin for the Oval Office or the OEOB, it's Liz Cheney.

  •  watch out for Liz Cheney (6+ / 0-)

    I could see the wingnuts getting behind her in 2016.

    •  Power Structure Enthusiastically, Actual Wingnuts (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      reluctantly but eventually if Palin "decides" to try for it. I could see that.

      Much depends on how the up & coming rainbow Christianists evolve. They may be more realistic about Palin.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 08:26:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cheney will not run (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wonderful world, dotalbon

     Jeb will be running as a private citizen, rather than a public official. Plus, Americans aren't giving low marks to Obama when he's compared with Bush. This country was thoroughly by the Presidency of George W. Bush, they will not want his ideological clone occupying the WH...especially someone who is much smarter than W was.

      Neither have a remote shot at the Presidency right now. Maybe Bush in 2016, where in all likelihood, the GOP will have an advantage coming into the race.

    •  If the GOP has an advantage in 2016 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Angie in WA State

      it will mean the Dems blew it big time.

      The disaster that was Bush/Cheney gave the Dems the chance not only to build a solid majority in Congress based on competent government and American values (economic justice for the middle class, equal opportunity, etc.), but more important, to discredit the GOP completely.

      We're nine months into Obama's administration, and the GOPers have already gone from corrupt/irrelevant to genuinely crazy.  But the Dems have done nothing to build on that.      

      I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones. (John Cage)

      by dotalbon on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 08:41:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not really (0+ / 0-)

          it just means after 8 years of one party in the White House, voters are typically more willing to give the other side a chance.

          Bush started out even or ahead of Gore in most polls, before all the stupid things Gore said and did came to light. Despite a booming economy, no wars, a huge surplus...voters were already giving Bush benefits of the doubt that he would not have had in 1996, or 2004.

          Dukakis started out ahead of Bush and even before his convention had, at one point, been up 17 points. After 8 years of Reagan, they were willing to look at him.

          So after 8 years of Obama, the Republicans will certainly be given a stronger look by the voters. Doesn't mean they'll prevail. But it does mean their chances will be better.

  •  If One of Them Feels That a Near-Certain '12 Loss (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wonderful world, dotalbon

    against an incumbent Dem could be a campaign building project for them (Reagan ran once or twice before he got the nomination), sure, '12 could be a no lose opportunity.

    There is often advantage to be gained from taking on a fight where you don't have the pressure of high expectations.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 08:21:54 AM PDT

  •  Cheney! Cheney! Cheney! (4+ / 0-)

    Because I want to see a 50 state win for Barack Obama. Not that it would be a mandate or anything...

    "No, it's all right," said the prospective diner. "The slugs have formed a defensive ring." -- Moving Pictures. Terry Pratchett.

    by wonderful world on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 08:22:21 AM PDT

  •  How ironic (5+ / 0-)

    that Jeb was the brother that was supposed to be President.  He had been groomed for it his whole life, then along comes The Fuckup, coming out of his sober converson experience claiming that God Himself told him to run for President.  The Fuckup also had enough Texas billionaires behind him to have enough money to run...

    No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

    by jarhead5536 on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 08:24:23 AM PDT

    •  Makes me half wonder... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ezekial 23 20

      ... if we'll see some GOP kabuki, ginned up to make Jeb appeal to voters again. He would basically need to attack his brother's administration in a very public and heartfelt way, and make it clear that HIS administration wouldn't make the same mistakes.

      I hate to say it, but the GOP would need '9/11 Version 2.0' in order to pull off such a thing. Say we're attacked again.* W pops out from behind some errant brush, in order to make an orchestrated statement that castigates the Obama administration for not heeding the lessons learned by HIS administration.

      And at that point, Jeb grabs himself a piece of airtime to say, "Fuck THAT, little brother. Believe me... the Obama administration has been no great shakes at keeping us all safe, but it was YOUR administration that REALLY painted a target on our country."

      Boom goes the dynamite, the news cycle gets a juicy story about brotherly "love", and Jeb's favorability rating goes up quite a few points in the polls.

      Corporate Dog

      * Either domestically, or by international terrorists. The former is FAR more likely these days. In any case, the GOP will push it to their advantage, no matter WHAT the ideology of the terrorists might actually be.

      We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

      by Corporate Dog on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 08:40:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In that vein, if no terrorist attack (0+ / 0-)

        on American soil occurs while Obama is in office for 8 years, the entire faux 'legacy' of the Bush admin is sunk.

        'He kept us safe'.  It's already ludicrous, given his response to Katrina, the more than 4000 dead overseas and the ineptness that allowed 9/11, but if Obama pulls 8 years without such, it merely highlights the failures of the Bush regime.

        Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

        by Ezekial 23 20 on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 08:53:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I find myself wondering (0+ / 0-)

    if the moneybags wing of the GOP will start promoting Michael Bloomberg for president and take on the frothing mouth-breather Palinites.

    Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

    by milkbone on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 08:36:25 AM PDT

  •  In 2016, Hillary Clinton will be younger than (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sphealey, JeffW

    Ronald Reagan when he won the presidency... and younger than Bob Dole and John McCain when they ran for President.  If the 2016 general election turns out to be Jeb Bush vs. Hillary Clinton, the campaign will be about whether America is a better place under a Clinton than under a Bush.  The only people I know of who'd prefer being under a Bush are... the fringe right-wingers!

    Barack Obama in the Oval Office: There's a black man who knows his place.

    by Greasy Grant on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 08:36:44 AM PDT

  •  IMHO (0+ / 0-)

    Either way, don't overestimate the distrust of the Bush or Cheney names when it comes to future national contests.

    I think it would be impossible to do so.

  •  I know the pundimwits don't see it (0+ / 0-)

    but who cares, i would stake my reputation on the fact that anyone running against Obama will get trounced.

    •  not with progressives already deciding that after (0+ / 0-)

      only 8 months -- Obama isn't a "real" progressive. They'll sit on the hands -- enough of them -- and states that he won in 2008 will be lost.

      Unless the economy is roaring and unemployment is back down to 5% or 6%, it's going to be rough.

      •  Huh? He never was a progressive. (0+ / 0-)

        So why should they decide he isn't a 'real one'?  He's always been a centrist incrementalist.

        Pass a good healthcare bill, and he'll have the progressives happy enough to support him anyway.

        Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

        by Ezekial 23 20 on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 08:55:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  His background is liberal (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Though, he was never hard left, except maybe for a little in college. He's definitely more to the left of Bill Clinton, though he's not Bernie Sanders, either. But, you are right, if Obama gets meaningful legislation passed for health care, the environment, and corporate regulation, he'll be in good shape with his left flank. I am pretty hard left and I've been critical of Obama, but his political skills are impressive. He hasn't delivered enough yet and if he punks out on important issues, I'll not be pleased. But I think he can deliver at least enough change to satisfy if he sets his mind to it.

          We can't afford another Clinton Presidency, where it was just eight years of things not getting worse.

  •  Jeb: 2012 is too soon for "another Bush" ... 2016 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eyesonobama, emilysdad

    is when he'll run.

    Hate to sound so sure -- but Romney IS the 2012 GOP nominee. Period.

    Every other loon makes him look reasonable. He's slick and will be packaged as the next Reagan.

    If the economy is in trouble -- duh -- 2012 will be rough and Morning in American part deaux will be the message. He'll run with either Patreaus, Crist or Ridge.

    States -- if the economy isn't strong -- that Obama will not carry again: Indiana, North Carolina. Maybe Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Nevada, Virginia.
    That's a lot to defend -- with no other states as possible pick-ups.

    That economy better be soaring...

    2012 Obama v. Romney.

  •  I'm hoping Cheney will be in jail by 2012. nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Angie in WA State, wombat, JeffW

    Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 08:48:34 AM PDT

  •  Duracell Dick isn't healthy enough... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    metal prophet run. If he had actually taken the reins while VP, it would have killed him. Period.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 08:53:32 AM PDT

  •  Norris/Nugent 2012...... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Angie in WA State, Fargopher

    "Kick Some Ass And Rock The House!"

    (that is snark by the way.  like a joke.  sarcasm.)

    "To do is to be." - Plato "To be is to do." - Aristotle "Dooby Dooby Do." - Sinatra

    by paulitics on Mon Sep 28, 2009 at 08:57:14 AM PDT

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