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Cheney Exit Strategy?

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By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 1, 2006; 10:36 AM

Sometimes I think there are only two kinds of media stories.

One: Is somebody going to get a job? (Will Hillary get elected? Will Katie become CBS anchor? Will Jon Stewart become permanent host of the Oscars or bomb as badly as Bode Miller?)

The other: Is someone going to lose a job? (Will DeLay be convicted or voted out of office? Will Chertoff hang on at DHS? Will Cruise & Holmes get divorced? Will the coach/manager of such-and-such a losing team get the boot?)

Right now, if you haven't noticed, it's Cheney hunting season. A classic Category 2 story, with a new poll providing the latest birdshot.

After all, the chattering class says, how dare Vice President Cheney remain in office with what CBS says is an 18 percent approval rating?

We've been through numerous rounds of Cheney resignation rumors over the last five years, especially in '04, and last time I checked, the veep was still on the job. (Last year the Daily News said Rummy was expected to step down, and lo, he's still ensconced at the Pentagon.) I suppose some folks think if they keep writing it, eventually it will come true and they can claim the crystal-ball credit. But do you really think that President Bush is going to dump his longtime consigliere? Or that Cheney, who displays a remarkable indifference to what the press and the political community think, is going to dump himself?

The latest he's-almost-toast story comes from Insight , the conservative magazine published by the parent company of the Washington Times:

"Vice President Dick Cheney is expected to retire within a year.

"Senior GOP sources envision the retirement of Mr. Cheney in 2007, months after the congressional elections. The sources said Mr. Cheney would be persuaded to step down as he becomes an increasing political liability to President Bush.

"The sources reported a growing rift between the president and vice president as well as their staffs. They cited Mr. Cheney's failure to immediately tell the president of the accidental shooting of the vice president's hunting colleague earlier this month."

Sounds like the sources want it to be true.

Joe Gandelman of the Moderate Voice gives the piece credence:


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