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Bush debated dropping Cheney from 2004 ticket, new memoir says

By Melissa Bell
Then- Vice President Dick Cheney listened to then-U.S. President George W. Bush in 2007. (Roger L. Wollenberg/ Bloomberg News.)

A long persistent rumor that trailed the George W. Bush presidency was that he merely filled the presidential seat while Dick Cheney really ran the government. It seems that rumor, coupled with public criticism of Cheney ("he was seen as the Darth Vadar of the administration," Bush wrote) bothered Bush enough to make him consider booting Cheney off the 2004 ticket.

He wanted to "demonstrate that I was in charge," the New York Times reports Bush writing in his upcoming memoir "Decision Points," to be published next week by Crown. The New York Times obtained a copy of the book.

The idea to drop Cheney from the ticket came from Cheney himself. Bush considered the possibility for a few weeks, but decided to stay with the vice president. "I hadn't picked him to be a political asset; I had chosen him to help me do the job. That was exactly what he had done."

In a 2007 series on the Cheney, the Post wrote of his extensive role as vice president: "Cheney has served as gatekeeper for Supreme Court nominees, referee of Cabinet turf disputes, arbiter of budget appeals, editor of tax proposals and regulator in chief of water flows in his native West."

Bush's book is seen as his first step toward reclaiming his legacy, after leaving the White House with some of the worst approval ratings in presidential history. Rather than a memoir, the book presents 14 decisions Bush struggled to make during his tenure.

The New York Times also reports that the book reveals the extent Bush's father, George H.W. Bush supported the invasion of Iraq and the former president delves into more of a self-critique than Bush ever gave while in office.

Update: Read why reporters keep breaking the embargo behind political memoirs here.

By Melissa Bell  | November 2, 2010; 7:32 PM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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Any words with more than two syllables?

Posted by: thealaskan | November 2, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Dropping Cheney from the 2004 ticket would have still been 3 years to late. He caused so much damage between 2001 and 2004. First, the 2001 tax breaks in the same year that we went to war with Afghanistan. You already know the rest.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | November 2, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Leave it to Chimpy to demonstrate who was in charge by NOT dropping the guy everyone knew was really in charge.

Posted by: Bob22003 | November 2, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

If only, if only.

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | November 2, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

I think they did what they thought was best for this country and you really shouldn't criticize unless you've walked in their shoes, but I tell you what they left this country in a big hole and it will take decades to recover from where they put us.

Posted by: madstamina | November 2, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Too bad.

Bush 43 could have replace Cheney with Sister Sarah.

Then, we could have had Tweedle-Dumb and Tweedle-Dumber.

Posted by: seattle_wa | November 2, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I miss President Bush.

Posted by: hyperiontc | November 2, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Why does anyone believe this kind of self-serving nonsense? Did Bush in anyway evince this "consideration" of dropping Cheney at the time? Of course not. Even if he had whined about Cheney to the big boys in the party, like James Baker, Daddy Bush, and Rummy, they would have ignored him. You can't seriously believe that intelligent, sophisticated men would leave the fate of their nation, much less the economy, in the hands of a barely literate frat boy. Probably the only independent decision Bush ever made as President was to nominate Harriet Myers to the SCOTUS, and you know how that worked out.
So now Bush sits in his TX home, no doubt swilling the bourbon he was denied while in the White House, and makes up stories to tell himself about how he was the guy in charge and what a great job he did.

Posted by: smeesq | November 2, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

He is so full of crap.
Always has been.
Go back under your rock, Chimpy.

Posted by: Gary12 | November 2, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Too bad.

Bush 43 could have replace Cheney with Sister Sarah.

Then, we could have had Tweedle-Dumb and Tweedle-Dumber.

Posted by: seattle_wa | November 2, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

The Bush memoir also says the former president was sick and downhearted when he learned there were no WMDs in Iraq. However, we all recall, the president, gallantly smiling through the tears, made and presented to the White House Correspondents at their annual dinner a short, jeering movie in whci he pretended his pet dog Barney was looking for WMDs in the White House, and not failing them. For this, 5000 Americans died.

Many White House correspondents laughed at this frolic -- but kept their jobs, regardless.

Posted by: kunino | November 2, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Too bad.

Bush 43 could have replace Cheney with Sister Sarah.

Then, we could have had Tweedle-Dumb and Tweedle-Dumber.

Posted by: seattle_wa | November 2, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Predictably, a lot of classy remarks here. Hey enlightened Post libs, wanna guess who now possesses higher public approval numbers than a certain guy who shortly will be blowing $200 mil a day on yet another superfluous trip abroad while our economy stalls and sky-high unemployment persists? That's right, ol' Chimpy McHitler. Hmmm, what does THAT say about the Professor in Chief?

Impressive Jimmy Carter-like trajectory your guy is on.....Oh yeah, it's STILL all Bush's fault, though, right? Something tells me that scapegoat line ain't gonna get a whole lot of traction come '12.

Champagne's flowing over here tonight, great to see America determine that we don't want to be North America's Greece.

Posted by: wma98 | November 2, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Mr. President, you can't imagine how much we miss your and Vice President Cheney's courageous leadership.

In case you have not heard, you were succeeded by a sniveling, bloviating, pompous little twit with a ginormous messiah complex, but not enough sense to distinguish his dainty derriere from a hole in the ground.

Posted by: thebump | November 2, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Who in hell cares what that simpering fool Dubya thi8nks about anything? He fouled the nest and slithered off leaving the mess for others to clean up...that's always been his MO.

Posted by: Jerryvov | November 2, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

The visitor log files show who was large and in charge day-to-day. IMHO it was always pappy behind the curtain


Posted by: SonofNels | November 2, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I confess I am interested in reading George W Bush's book. Likewise any that might be written by John Howard or Tony Blair who with Bush, in my opinion, so screwed the international rule of law with their faith based Iraq invasion fiasco.

I know these faith based decision makers think differently to me - obviously. If thinking is what happens in the mind of a faith-based decision maker or decider guy.

Seeing Bush, Blair and Howard on television one can't help but see their humanity - redeeming aspects as well.

I think I will wait until Bush's book is available in a library so that I don't reward him financially for his bad faith - he took an oath to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the US, and apparently didn't know what that oath meant or didn't see it as more binding as a social contract than what he thought was right by his own lights.

But I admit I am curious as to what was going on in the guys head. Was he genuine in wanting to do right and just disagreeing with me about premises or was he a never really concerned about what was and is right at all where Iraq was concerned?

I don't know.

I do know though that as a political matter and a moral matter in a world organised into groups of nations, inter-National law being adhered to, and enforced, is essential to stopping wars of aggression from being initiated.

Without adherence to international agreements that are, like the UN Charter was, ratified into US law, there can be no rational basis for confidence in rule of law working. And so no confidence can be had by anyone that terrorism as a political tactic will not be used against us.

Posted by: BrettPaatsch1 | November 3, 2010 5:03 AM | Report abuse

What color crayon did Bush use to write the book?

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | November 3, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

He would have done it, too -- if only Cheney hadn't overruled him.

Posted by: Ralphinjersey | November 3, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"leaving the White House with some of the worst approval ratings in presidential history"

That's not true.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | November 3, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

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