A Prediction

It stikes me as odd that Cheney is somewhat distancing himself from the Administration by his stance on gay marriage, his outburst in the Senate, and on and on. Then it hit me today when I was reading a story about Bush’s first campaign event after emerging from Crawford. Odd thing is, he was joined on the campaign trail by Rudy Giuliani. Could we be in for a convention surprise?

Picture it. A day or so into the convention Cheney is rushed to the hospital with chest pains. His new doctor insists that he rest and take it easy. In his acceptance speech, Bush asks the nation to pray for Cheney, and announces that Cheney’s going to step down, and Guiliani will be added to the ticket. Bush gets a bump, they play the 9/11 factor for all it’s worth, and he tries to ride it to re-election.

Bunk or truth? We shall see.

Yahoo! article archived here.Responding to McCain, Bush Plans Legal Action on Ads

By Adam Entous

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (Reuters) – President Bush (news – web sites) on Thursday sought to ease differences with ally Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record) by promising to take legal action to stop a wave of ads by outside groups, including those attacking the war record of Bush’s presidential election rival John Kerry (news – web sites).

The White House said Bush made the commitment to file a lawsuit against the Federal Election Committee when he spoke to McCain in a telephone call from Air Force One.

The Arizona Republican and Vietnam veteran has called on Bush to do more to end anti-Kerry ads by a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which has accused Kerry, McCain’s friend and the Democratic presidential nominee, of lying about his Vietnam War service.

The White House made the announcement as Bush emerged from seclusion at his Crawford, Texas ranch and started a week of intense campaigning before next week’s New York Republican convention with a raucous rally in Las Cruces, New Mexico, a state he lost to Democrat Al Gore (news – web sites) by just 366 votes in 2000.

Bush was accompanied for the first time on the campaign by former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (news – web sites), a Republican whose response to the Sept. 11 attacks made him a national figure and popular with independent voters.

The fierce dispute over Kerry’s record in Vietnam, where he was decorated for bravery, has dominated recent campaigning in the neck-and-neck race for the Nov. 2 election. Both candidates are trying to portray themselves as the best man to lead the United States in its war on terrorism.

McCain has also asked Kerry to pull ads that featured the Arizona senator at a 2000 debate as an example of how the Bush campaign smeared other veterans. The Kerry campaign said in Minneapolis it would withdraw them from the airwaves.

McCain has threatened to raise his concerns about the Swift Boat ads when he campaigns with Bush next week.

He wants Bush to directly condemn the ads. Bush has yet to do so, issuing instead a blanket condemnation against all outside groups funded by unregulated soft money.

SHADOWY GROUPS

“The president said he wanted to work together (with McCain) to pursue court action to shut down all the ads and activity by the shadowy … groups,” White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters aboard Air Force One.

McClellan said the lawsuit would be filed by the Bush campaign — rather than the White House — against the Federal Election Commission (news – web sites).

“There have been previous complaints filed against the FEC. The FEC had an opportunity to act… They did not act. So that allows those who had filed those complaints to pursue action against the FEC,” McClellan said.

McClellan said McCain told Bush during their conversation that “he thought it was a good idea to work together to shut down this kind of activity.”

But McClellan did not say when legal action would be taken by the campaign, and he would not single out the Swift Boat group for condemnation. “The president condemns all the ads and activity by these shadowy groups,” McClellan said.

Federal election rules bar organizations that take unrestricted donations from coordinating their activities with campaigns or political parties.

Records show the Swift Boat group received some of its funding from long-time Bush supporters. Its new commercial also features one veteran, Ken Cordier, who was on a Bush campaign committee until last week, when he was forced to quit.

A top lawyer for Bush’s re-election campaign, Benjamin Ginsberg, resigned on Wednesday after disclosing he has been providing legal advice to the Swift Boat group. (Additional reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky)

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