Well while I’m on a political kick right now I though it might be interesting to take a second and look at 2008. That election cycle may prove to be a defining one for the Republican Party. (For the sake of this discussion, I’m going to assume that Bush wins because I honestly think he will). Normally what would happen would be the VP would run, but with Chaney that isn’t going to happen.
Well there are at least two wings of the Republican Party – the moderate wing of those who tend to be more socially liberal and the conservative wing of those who are most staunchly social conservatives. You could almost boil it down to the pro-life and pro-choice wings of the party. The problem is this: After Bush, the star power in the GOP is basically from the moderate side, guys like Rudy Giuliani, Arnold, and probably John McCain (I don’t know his stance on the abortion issue, but he is probably best described as a moderate). Who does that leave on the conservative side? The best bets are probably Rick Santorum or Condi Rice.
The wild card in my mind is Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. You can’t get elected governor of that state with a socially conservative agenda (ie abortion). That said, he came out strong against gay marriage when the supreme court of that state legislated that issue there, and he pushed hard for a constitutional amendment. He scored points with conservatives for that. And he is a Mormon (I don’t know how committed), so it is hard to imagine him not being pro life. So it will be interesting to see how he plays that issue over the next couple years. He is definitely much more articulate than anyone in this year’s election.
So my best guess will be that he will be nominated, and we can only hope that Condi Rice would be a VP choice (to counter a scary but not-unlikely Hillary-Obama Democratic ticket).
If the Republicans decide to go with a centrist candidate, it will be disaster for them. They will lost a huge chunk of their base to the Constitution Party and it will cost them the election (remember the Reform Party in 1992?). It will be interesting to see what happens.