Cheney Out After 2006 Elections? You Read It Here First …

Insight magazine, associated with the conservative Washington Times, is reporting that Vice President Dick Cheney is going to “retire” “within a year.”

The reason? A “growing rift” between the OVP and the White House, the denouement of which will result in Cheney being “persuaded” to leave. And while the recent shooting incident underscored the growing distance between Cheney and the President — Bush, it seems, was left out of the loop, along with the rest of the country, with the news — the core reason is the upcoming trial of his former chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby:

“‘The Libby case is far more lethal than the hunting accident,’ another GOP source said. ‘If the heat gets too much, Cheney might say his health requires him to leave office. Whatever happens, the president will make sure it’s handled delicately.'”

Shocking news for some, but not for longtime readers of, who were let in on the secret some time ago:

“If Libby is implicated as having anything to do with Plame’s ‘outing,’ then that, in turn, implicates Cheney, who must take responsibility. The Vice President’s resignation, under these circumstances, is a distinct possibility. Will we soon hear an announcement that he’s retiring ‘for health reasons’?”

Furthermore, we gave some advice to the President in that column, dated, October 3, 2003, and we aren’t saying he picked up on it, but given the tenor of the developing Bush-Cheney “rift,” it looks like the following may have been more than just wishful thinking:

“As the scandal metastasizes, and threatens to engulf the White House, one might hope this administration would learn the lesson of history. Before the Democrats can take hold of this, and use it, George W. Bush must launch a preemptive strike against the cancer eating away at the vitals of his presidency.

“Ditch the neocons, Mr. President, and get us out of the quagmire they created – before it’s too late.”

Maybe someone in the White House has finally realized they’d better dump the neocons — and Cheney, their promoter and protector — before the country dumps the GOP.