Cheney Uncloaks His Frustration With Bush
That phrase jumped out at me. Partner? That's not how the constitution sees it. Cheney always came across as someone who thought he was the President's equal in terms of power and responsibility. The unprecedented expansion of VP powers aside, he always came off in interviews as if he thought of himself as the co-President.Cheney Uncloaks His Frustration With Bush
'Statute of Limitations Has Expired' on Many Secrets, Former Vice President Says
By Barton Gellman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 13, 2009
In his first few months after leaving office, former vice president Richard B. Cheney threw himself into public combat against the "far left" agenda of the new commander in chief. More private reflections, as his memoir takes shape in slashing longhand on legal pads, have opened a second front against Cheney's White House partner of eight years, George W. Bush.
As I look back on the Bush Presidency, I have begun to see Bush as a victim (for lack of a better word) of really bad advice. IMO, he was mislead and manipulated by early advisors thrust upon him by political cronies. From day one, he appeared to lack the intellect and critical thinking ability to really evaluate information and opinions and then make the kind of decisions that President needs to make. He relied heavily on his advisors to tell him what to do--often, in the first term, relying on Cheney to make the call.Cheney's disappointment with the former president surfaced recently in one of the informal conversations he is holding to discuss the book with authors, diplomats, policy experts and past colleagues. By habit, he listens more than he talks, but Cheney broke form when asked about his regrets.
"In the second term, he felt Bush was moving away from him," said a participant in the recent gathering, describing Cheney's reply. "He said Bush was shackled by the public reaction and the criticism he took. Bush was more malleable to that. The implication was that Bush had gone soft on him, or rather Bush had hardened against Cheney's advice. He'd showed an independence that Cheney didn't see coming. It was clear that Cheney's doctrine was cast-iron strength at all times -- never apologize, never explain -- and Bush moved toward the conciliatory."
However, in the beginning of his second term, he declared himself the 'decider' and decided he was really going to have a go at being President. To co-president Cheney, this must have been infuriating.
I'm more interested in the tell-all book from Bush than I am from Cheney. Of course, if Cheney's book comes out first, this might inspire Bush to get more honest.
Every time something new is revealed about what really went on behind-the-scenes at the Bush White House, I'm never surprised.
Cheney comes off in some ways as the Jack Nicholson character in A Few Good Men -- he wants so bad to tell people what he did and why he did it. I'm hoping his editor and advisors don't hold him back. Let the chips fall where they may.