VICE PRESIDENT RICE: NewsMax is trumpeting the possibility that Cheney will step aside and Bush will nominate Condi Rice for vice president. This idea made huge political sense to me long before Washington rumors began linking Cheney to the CIA leak controversy. Consider: 2008 will be the first time since 1952 — when Republicans Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon ran against Democrats Adlai Stevenson and John Sparkman — that no incumbent president or vice president will be running in either party. The idea that Bush would want to forego annointing his GOP successor is implausible at best. The idea that he would want to change American history is a no brainer. Cheney's health precludes him from running, and it's easy to see him being willing to step aside so that his boss could select an accomplished black woman to be vice president. Condi would have a couple of years to make a splash and to make herself irresistable to the 2008 GOP convention as running mate to a candidate not yet chosen. In addition to bringing foreign policy expertise to the ticket, her moderate stances on social issues (pro-choice and pro-affirmative action) would certainly appeal to centrists of both parties. The voting black community would no longer be a subsidiary of the Democrats; take that, Hillary. Oh, and how I'd love to see Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and Maxine Waters whine about Condi being inauthentically black. True, she's never shaken down a corporation for guilt money (Jesse); she's never been indicted (Al); she's never been part of the Blame America First crowd (Maxine). What Condi's done is work hard to get where she is. In short, she has learned to play the America card. Mr. Vice President, it's time to get your next physical, so you can make the announcement you need to make: that you're ready to spend time on what really matters at this point in your life, grandchildren and fishing.