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Dick Cheney's name may be missing from John McCain's guest list

August 5, 2008 |  4:41 pm

Add a new question to the fervid guessing game about running mates these days: Will the current vice president show his face among his fellow Republicans when they gather in early September for the party's national convention in St.Paul-Minneapolis?Vice President Dick Cheney may be a no-show at this year's Republican National Convention

Prospects that Dick Cheney will be otherwise occupied at the time seemed to increase with word from his press secretary, Megan Mitchell, that his schedule has not yet been firmed up for that week.

And John McCain's campaign this afternoon did absolutely nothing to quell chatter that Cheney is not wanted at the political coronation for the Arizona senator.

From the campaign trail, The Times' Bob Drogin reports that Mark Salter (an aide who, as a recent Washington Post profile of McCain spelled out, is the closest of the close to McCain) was asked whether Cheney is being kept off the convention invite list.

“I have no comment,” he quickly replied.

Pressed on the matter a few minutes later, Salter said, “I don’t know and I have no comment.”

When George W. Bush surprised the political world eight years ago by picking Cheney as his running mate, part of his rationale was that he didn't want to be shadowed by someone with future designs on the top job. But we doubt he would have imagined his choice would become unwelcome at a mass GOP gathering.

Then again, we doubt Bush would have envisioned that his own record in office would become a target of trash-talk by the man prepared to replace him as the nation's top-dog Republican (see our earlier item about McCain's latest ad that stiff-arms the administration).

Cheney, for his part, probably won't be pining away while McCain and his supporters celebrate in the Twin Cities. Given the fun he's rumored to have on fishing expeditions, he might well be casting a line into some stream. 

-- Don Frederick

Photo: Getty Images