Up, up and away.

Away being the operative term.

The Moderate Voice's Joe Gandelman points to an article in The Washington Times' Insight Magazine suggesting Cheney will retire after the midterm elections. Notes Joe:

This story qualifies as a classic message-sender/trial balloon story.

Clearly, some faction within the White House is trying to send out a message to Cheney (Time to think about packing your bags and PLEASE take that shotgun with you when you go) or to Republicans (We may be going down in the polls so low now that weeds are starting to grow around us but if we Dump Dick we can reinvigorate the White House AND get a fresh-face in place who will then have a good chance to win in 2008).

But make no mistake about it: this isn't likely a story that was invented by a refugee from a tabloid. It's a send-em-a-message story...
Joe speculates that Cheney might even be sent packing on "doctor's orders" before the midterms. That's my notion, too. Cheney's abysmal approval ratings and his recent mishandling of his hunting accident, turning a mishap into a cover-up and a subsequent full-blown scandal, aren't doing the flailing Bush any favors. Before this trial balloon was even filled with someone's (cough*Rove*cough) hot air, the curious "discovery" of 250 pages of emails from Cheney's office relating to the Plame leak had me speculating that we were about to witness a partial coup.

Cheney may have self-selected himself into this administration, but I don't think any amount of determination on his part to stay can keep him from getting pushed out. I suspect it's just a matter of whether he goes quietly, or goes down kicking and screaming as the White House "discovers" other bits and pieces that may be of interest to one Mr. Patrick Fitzgerald.

(Crossposted at AlterNet PEEK.)

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