Dick Cheney for president in 2012?
Even as the former vice president dismisses such talk, a movement is building to "draft" Cheney into running for president in 2012, according to Fox News.
Christopher Barron, a political consultant and former political director for the Log Cabin Republicans, filed papers last week to launch his "Draft Cheney 2012" group and Web site.
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Republicans need Cheney because he's the only one with the experience and conservative credentials necessary to lead the party at a critical juncture in its quest for identity and dominance, Barron said.
"We know that Dick Cheney doesn't want to run for president," Barron said. "This is about convincing the former vice president that we need him to run."
Barron is attracting contributions and hundreds of followers who want to see Cheney do more with his life.
"This is one of those seminal moments in the history of our party. . . What is this party going to stand for?" Barron said. "And I think there is only one man who is capable of bringing the entire Republican coalition together and speaking with clarity about the values that have made our party great. And that is Vice President Cheney."
In a poll The Washington Post conducted last month, only one in about 800 people who lean Republican picked Cheney as the person who best reflects GOP principles, Fox reported.
In February, when the Conservative Political Action Conference' straw poll asked attendees whom they'd pick in 2012, Cheney's name wasn't even on the list, Fox pointed out. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee topped that roster.
And Cheney, who has had four heart attacks and would be 71 in 2012, decided once not to run when President Bush's term expired and says now that he has zero interest in returning to politics.
"Why would I want to do that?" he said in a recent interview with Politico.com. "It's been a hell of a tour. I've loved it. I have no aspirations for further office."
Scott Stanzel, former deputy press secretary to Bush, told Fox that Cheney will probably never be convinced to run for president.
"I don't believe that Dick Cheney has any desire to run for office again and I take him at his word," Stanzel said, adding that he's "very influential" in the role he's already in.
"There are a lot of people out there who feel strongly about his service, but that's not to say they are advocating for him to run for president," he said. "I do not think his desire is to define the Republican Party. . . He is almost solely focused on defending the policies of the Bush administration."
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