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Dick Cheney for president in 2012?
What the former vice president's return to the national stage says about his political future

"Don't start building that reinforced-concrete bomb shelter just yet," said Max Fisher in The Atlantic. The chatter you hear about former vice president Dick Cheney running for president in 2012 is "probably not serious." As columnist Jonah Goldberg says, Cheney remains a "beacon for conservatives," and he's enjoying a "resurgence on the national stage" as a critic of President Obama, but Cheney's unfavorable ratings suggest he'd have little hope at the polls.

Public opinion can change quickly, said James Taranto in The Wall Street Journal. Dick Cheney's main beef with Obama is that he's dismantling national security policies that kept the country safe for more than seven years after 9/11. If, heaven forbid, there's another terrorist attack on U.S. soil, Obama will be seen as a failure and Bush will be vindicated. In that scenario, "it's hard to think of a better candidate" than Cheney.

Granted, Dick Cheney's approval ratings are up "since he started going toe to toe with Obama on national security," said Allahpundit in Hot Air. But do Republicans really want to place their bets on Cheney over, say, Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee? Nominating the former vice president would make the 2012 election a referendum on the Bush years, "which is just about the only way to fire up the liberal base enough to turn out in droves in 2012."

James Taranto is clearly living in an "alternate reality," said Steve Benen in Washington Monthly. It's "crazy" to suggest that the Obama administration isn't taking the terrorist threat seriously, and it's just plain wrong to claim that Bush and Cheney were "effective in fighting terrorism." But this shows that there are conservatives out there who "will want to tear this country apart" if there's another attack on American soil.

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