Bruce Bartlett makes the case:
Thinking along the same lines, Arnold Beichman of Stanford’s Hoover Institution made a strong case for Mr. Bush to replace Mr. Cheney with National Security Adviser Condeleezza Rice in these pages of The Washington Times on July 1.
Said Mr. Beichman, “It is now time to open a new dramatic episode in American history, one that would show the world what our democracy means: the choice of an extraordinarily talented African-American woman to run for president of the United States on the Republican ticket, the party of Abraham Lincoln.”
My main reservation against Miss Rice is that she is untested electorally, having spent most of her career as a Stanford political science professor. Also, we know nothing about her views on issues outside her area of expertise, foreign policy. What is her position on abortion, tax cuts or Medicare? Even she may not know since she may never have had any reason to think about these or the thousand other issues on which presidential candidates must have positions.
That may be Bruce Bartlett’s main reservation about Condi Rice. My main reservation would be that she’s done an absolutely terrible job as National Security Advisor. But what really makes this impossible is that she’s a single woman who’s widely rumored to be a lesbian. Obviously I don’t have a problem with lesbians, or with single straight women, or even with women who simply choose not to date for whatever reason. But certain elements in the Republican Party don’t feel that way at all as you may have noticed over the years.
Now if Cheney were to just die or something, letting Bush put someone new on the ticket, that would probably be to Bush’s advantage. Actually dumping him, though, would be a mess. So many people have written that “Cheney could leave the ticket and pretend it’s for health reasons” that you really couldn’t pretend it was for health reasons, and it would create all sorts of awkwardness to admit that the 2000 pick had been a mistake.