CQ Analyst Suggests ‘Rumsfeld’s Leaving Is Just The Beginning,’ Cheney Might Be Next

Appearing on MSNBC this afternoon, Congressional Quarterly political analyst Craig Crawford speculated that, as “neocons are heading for the hills,” Dick Cheney may be the next to leave the administration. He claimed the Vice President’s “authority is waning, if not gone.” “And my point is why would he want to stick around in this environment?” he asked. “All I’m seeing is a man getting isolated more and more.” Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2006/11/crawfordcheney.320.240.flv]

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CRAWFORD: Again, I gotta ask, where does that leave Dick Cheney if the neocons are heading for the hills. Where does he end up in this administration?

MATTHEWS: I know what he does. He moves out to the eastern shore of Maryland and waits there like [indecipherable] with a gun. And he waits until the next administration comes into office. If it’s a Republican administration — like McCain — he has a lot of influence. If it’s a Democratic administration, he starts coming on programs like this. He won’t be on this show, but like this.

CRAWFORD: I still wonder if he stays in this administration for the full term here. I really wonder if Rumsfeld’s leaving is just the beginning.

MATTHEWS: Well, who is showing up with the Ryder truck at his home. Who’s gonna get him out?

CRAWFORD: He has to make the choice himself. He can’t be fired, technically, under the Constitution.

MATTHEWS: Why would he leave?

HARWOOD: As Bill Clinton once said, the Constitution makes him relevant for at least the two years. I don’t think he will go anywhere.

CRAWFORD: My point is I don’t know why he’d want to stick around.

MATTHEWS: He has assumed an awful lot of authority under this President.

CRAWFORD: I know, and that authority is waning, if not gone. And my point is why would he want to stick around in this environment? He might just choose to leave.

MATTHEWS: Let me check this. I rarely do this on the show. Are you teasing? Are you — do you actually think there’s a reasonable plausible case for this Vice President to give up all the power he enjoys as the President’s first counsel?

CRAWFORD: Not if he doesn’t enjoy it anymore. I mean all I’m seeing is the man getting isolated more and more. This seems to be his most vulnerable position in the entire Bush administration.