A little smirking
Over a year ago, in January 2006, I wrote a couple of posts regarding the end of President Bush's 2nd term and the possibilities he could theoretically pursue regarding the 2008 election and keeping his philosophy and staff as intact as possible. That particular set of ideas revolved around establishing Condi Rice in the power structure to make her a de facto incumbent, possibly a real incumbent.
See the original post here: "We want to be a nation that serves goals larger than self...."
Followup post here: "Cheney will retire after the 2006 elections...."
Obviously the President is not going to complete all the steps put forth in the original poli-fantasy. However, the first step is not only possible but appears all the more likely every day.
The 2008 election will be historic for a number of reasons, but a strong factor is the fact that there will be no incumbent president or vice-president angling for a promotion. I do not have the stat handy, but I believe it is the first time in nearly 80 years that this situation has existed.
Vice-President Cheney has made it clear from day one that he would serve as Veep for Little George and would not seek the presidency. Much of the reason involves his health issues combined with age. These are explored and detailed in my second link above. Basically, the man has had heart attacks since his 30s and is known to be a cardiopulmonary disaster waiting to happen. He is 65 years old and has made it clear that his family has been waiting for him to come home for some time. The president is officially a lame duck and there is little for Cheney to do since strong-arming the republican caucus in the congress is no longer the necessity it was in the past 6 years.
Now it appears that blood clotting in the Vice-President's legs will certainly cause a limitation on future travel plans and is fueling speculation that he will step down for health reasons.
Just a little bit of bragging here -- I called this over a year ago. I also called that Secretary of State Rice will be nominated to replace him. Since the 2006 elections did not go so well, it is unclear whether she would be confirmed by the Senate. Fortunately the dems have presidential candidates Obama and Clinton, so the idea of blacks/women being unqualified is laid to rest, and since she is already SecState there should be no question of her ability to serve.
What is most amusing about all this is that the rest of the world will be surprised at these turns of events. Just know you read them here first.