Dick Cheney, 67, will not have a role in the Republican National Convention this August, despite the fact that he remains a popular figure for the conservative base, and is a great fund-raising force for the RNC. But according to the American Spectator, he and McCain, 71, famously do not get along and the candidate has not offered him a spot. A press secretary for the vice-president argued that Cheney is actively campaigning for McCain and is a supporter, but the McCain camp may have had reasons other than personal relationships in mind when they decided to exclude him. For independent voters, it’s easy to tie Dick Cheney to the gang of neocons like Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, John Bolton, and Doug Feith who started the voter-unfriendly Iraq war and whose aggressive foreign-policy tactics have been quietly smoothed over for the past couple of years by Condoleezza Rice.
The Bush White House has shifted Cheney into the background and Rice into the foreground in recent months, partially in an effort to repair international relations and Bush’s legacy as he enters his final stretch. At the convention Cheney would be an unhappy reminder of why independent voters mistrust the GOP — and let’s face it, visual associations matter. If you saw Cheney delivering a trademark gruff address up at the convention podium, it’d be hard to ignore the fact that the candidate he’s supporting is another aging white hawk. Better to keep him away and focus on fresher talent.
In other age-related news, Obama’s now talking up the fact that he is going gray, a look that will probably help with the people who think he’s too young and healthy to be trusted in executive office. Everybody wants what the other guy’s got, huh?