… and it’s a pretty interesting analysis if you ask us (even if a bit far-fetched). We’d noticed that Negroponte thing and wondered. Steve picks it apart.
White House Chess
From News for Real
The Washington media spent the holidays trying to guess what the President’s new plan for Iraq might be. Meanwhile in the back rooms of the White House Karl Rove and White House Chief of Staff, Josh Bolten were doing what any world-class chess player does when facing defeat — plot a series of aggressive moves to throw their opponent off balance in the hopes of regaining the initiative.
How do I know this? Well, since God only talks to Rev. Pat Robertson – and, when He can’t get through to Pat, George W. Bush – I didn’t get it from Him. No it came to me in this news flash late yesterday:
Washington, D.C. – As President Bush prepares a new statement and stance on the war in Iraq, his cabinet is once again in the midst of transition. In the latest change, National Intelligence Director John Negroponte will resign to become deputy secretary of state, according to a government official….The shift, while seemingly abrupt, will allow Negroponte to return to his former career path as a diplomat. Negroponte will serve under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
It was that last line that gives away the strategy. “Negroponte will serve under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.”
Never! Negroponte quits as head of one of the most important and powerful posts in government, a job that puts him face to face with the President of the United States every morning, of everyday of the week, to accept a position as Rice’s assistant?
So what’s up? Here’s what I think is up — and if I were Bush I would be itching to get on with the game.
Move 1: Announce what the administration knows will be a very unpopular decision to send more troops to Iraq.
Move 2: Let the Democrat-controlled Congress throw a fit and hold hearings the administration knows will stir up additional opposition and shake loose new damning information on the administrations march to war and mismanagement of that war.
Move 3: Just when all the above is hitting the fan, Dick Cheney announces he is retiring from office early due to “health concerns,” and because he does not want to be “a distraction” when he is called to testify in purjury trial of his former No. 2. Scooter Libby.
Move 4: The next day Bush announces he will nominate Condoleezza Rice to replace Cheney.
Move 5: At the same time Bush announces he is nominating Negroponte to replace Rice as Secretary of State.
The above series of moves makes political sense on so many levels that I consider it inevitable. Think about it:
For Cheney: By all reports, Cheney has been sidelined within the administration. No longer being a major player – actually the major player — is so NOT Dick Cheney. If he can’t run the show, he’s not interested. Also, leaving before the end of Bush’s final term would put some daylight between Cheney and the shoddy Bush legacy — not a lot of daylight, but a lot more than if Cheney stays until January 2009.
For Bush: Appointing the first woman and the first African American to the vice presidency, Bush knows, would put him in the history books for something besides the mess his war has made out of the Middle East. By appointing Rice VP he would lock in for all history his place as the first US President to have a female and black as his No. 2 — an historical “two-fer.”
For Rice: As an academic by vocation Rice knows better than Bush how historians rank the achievements – and failures — of public figures. If appointed VP she would no longer go down in history as simply the White House National Security Advisor who signed off on Bush’s fictional Iraqi WMD. Instead her bio would lead with the fact that she became America’s first woman and first black to hold this high office. So, whether Rice leaves government service in 2009, or decides to run for President, departing as a sitting Vice President would be a personal, professional, poilitical and financial asset of immeasurable value.
Read the rest here, but we recommend you do it soon.