Cheney: 'Not a chance' I'll run for president
Dick Cheney in 2012? One new political group, led by a prominent former Log Cabin Republican, thinks it could -- and should -- happen.
Despite the former vice-president's low approval ratings among the American public, the organizers of Draft Cheney 2012 believe he's the right man to take on President Barack Obama in the next election -- and, they say, he may be the only person left in the Republican Party who has what it takes to run the country.
"The 2012 race for the Republican nomination for President will be about much more then who will be the party's standard bearer against Barack Obama, the race is about the heart and soul of the GOP," CNN quoted Christopher Barron, the principal organizer of the Draft Cheney movement. "There is only one person in our party with the experience, political courage and unwavering commitment to the values that made our party strong – and that person is Dick Cheney."
The group has launched a Web site and a Facebook group (87 members so far), and plans to rally supporters to their cause at Tea Party events and in early primary states like New Hampshire and Iowa, CNN reports.
But does the group stand a chance of garnering support from grassroots Republicans cheering for a Sarah Palin ticket or even a run by Lou Dobbs? The Chicago Tribune's Swamp Politics blog reports, "There would seem to be support in some quarters for a Cheney bid, notes Barron, quoting Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard as saying: 'Of course, everyone's first choice for president in 2012 is Dick Cheney.''"
Yet the effort to put Dick Cheney back in the White House could face one major obstacle: Dick Cheney himself.
As CNN notes, earlier this month at a campaign event for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, the Texas Republican running to replace Gov. Rick Perry, Cheney responded to calls for him to run for president with three simple words: "Not a chance."
Barron, who appears to be the group's founder as its Web site is registered in his name, is known for his unwavering loyalty to core Republican values. A lawyer and campaign consultant, he was political director of the Log Cabin Republicans, a group for gay conservatives, before he and some other LCR members decided the group wasn't conservative enough and launched their own, more conservative group, GOProud.
Barron also runs CapSouth, a political consultancy that lists among its members PhRMA, the pharmaceutical industry's lobby group.
Last June, Barron penned a column for the Huffington Post in which he advocated in favor of expanding concealed-carry permits because, he suggested, carrying guns is an effective way for homosexuals to prevent attacks against them.
"If Congress is actually interested in preventing violent hate crimes, they should pass legislation that will empower individuals to defend themselves before they become another hate crime victim," he wrote.
Barron's column was criticized by some for its poor timing -- it was published the day white supremacist James von Brunn allegedly killed a security guard with a concealed weapon at Washington's Holocaust Museum.