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Now We Know: Cheney Stewing (at Bush) at Starbucks

Sorry, folks, but Dick Cheney just keeps cropping up. (Fine, unfurl your fury in the comments section.)

We now know that the ex-vice president has a "transition" office across the river in McLean, Va., a sort of halfway house to help him transition back to private life. The transition office has a staff (except for a spokesperson or anyone authorized to speak for him). And it is there that Cheney apparently is stewing over President Bush's refusal to pardon former veep chief-of-staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

It would appear that as Bush and Cheney retreat into the annals of history, there is no love lost between the two men.

Tom DeFrank of the New York Daily News writes about Cheney's anger at Bush over the Libby matter in today's paper:

Several sources confirmed Cheney refused to take no for an answer. "He went to the mat and came back and back and back at Bush," a Cheney defender said. "He was still trying the day before Obama was sworn in."

After repeatedly telling Cheney his mind was made up, Bush became so exasperated with Cheney's persistence he told aides he didn't want to discuss the matter any further.

"Exasperated," is the word DeFrank uses to describe Bush. But a source tells the Sleuth that Bush's reaction went beyond exasperation. He apparently expressed his opposition to pardoning Libby in "far more vigorous terms" to Cheney, the source says.

We called Cheney's transition office for comment and Lucy Tutwiler answered the phone. Lucy is the niece of Margaret Tutwiler, the famous spokeswoman from the Reagan and Bush 41 administrations. (Aunt Margaret, of course, was the longtime spinmeister and confidant of James Baker, who is a close friend and hunting buddy of Cheney.)

Lucy Tutwiler said she couldn't speak on the record for Cheney but would give him our request for comment, as well as our request to interview the vice president over skim lattes at his transition office, which, under the Presidential Transition Act of 1963, he is entitled to for six months after leaving office.

The issue of whether to pardon Scooter Libby seems to have hardened the already divided Cheney and Bush factions. Take Cheney sympathizer Quin Hillyer at the American Spectator, for example, who writes the following in response to DeFrank's story:

I spent eight years wishing that Dick Cheney had been president rather than George W. Bush. Here's another example where Cheney was right and Bush was dead wrong: Cheney really fought to get Bush to pardon Scooter Libby. Libby wasn't guilty of perjury. At worst, he had a bad memory. But based on Tim Russert's own flagrant "memory lapses," there is every reason to believe that it was Russert's memory, not Libby's, that was faulty. Either way, Liby deserved a pardon. Bush didn't want to take the heat for such a pardon. Either that, or else his refusal to pardon was a passive-aggressive move to punish Cheney's team for supposedly embarrassing Bush or at least causing unwanted controversy one too many times. Shame on Bush.

Or as President Bush once famously said, "Fool me once, shame on...(pause) you. Fool me, can't get fooled again."

By Mary Ann Akers  |  February 17, 2009; 3:50 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Dick Cheney Loves Him Some Skim Latte
Next: Revenge of Blago (Part 3), Starring Roland Burris


Even George Bush finally, finally figured out what a disaster Cheney was and more or less banished him from any substantive role in government. You can chalk up his meager late-term successes to that.

Even so, I expect any minute now that the few remaining Cheney defenders will pop up here and start posting hearty "Sieg Heils!" to their master and overlord.

Posted by: nodebris | February 17, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

So Dick Cheney is mad that his crony and stooge, Libby, didn't get pardoned. Well, pardon me, but that's just fine. Cheney can choke on his latte swizzle stick at Starbucks for all the rest of America cares. He's history. Good riddance.

Posted by: dsrobins | February 17, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Club Fed might be a good place for Libby to write his Mein Kampf !

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | February 18, 2009 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Club Fed might be a good place for Libby to write his Mein Kampf !

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | February 18, 2009 1:52 AM | Report abuse

Quin Hillyer says he spent eight years wishing Cheney were the Pres (I thought he was). But what a coincidence- most people spent eight years wishing Cheney would drop ####. And he wants Libby pardoned because he was such a good soldier for Cheney and Hillyer's branch of the Dividians, I mean the GOP. What could have been more important than Libby spreading the lies about Saddam Hussein by tipping off Judith Miller at that bastion of conservatism and the military industrial complex the New York Times that Saddam had WOMD. As well as outing a CIA agent. I thought the CIA had their own way of taking care of people like that. Maybe papa Bush told junior not to pardon Libby because he thought it wasn't kosher to out a secret agent.

Posted by: repudar711 | February 18, 2009 2:16 AM | Report abuse

I'd go with the passive aggressive theory.....

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | February 18, 2009 3:01 AM | Report abuse

Okay, if Bush pardoned Libby at Cheney's insistence wouldn't that be a tacit admission that Cheney had Libby committ an illegal act, perjury. That being the case, Bush would be tacitly saying he knew the Vice President had a staffer committing illegal acts. Bush condoning that could be seen as guilty of aiding/abetting or furthering a conspiracy.

So, loyal Cheney fans, Bush got that one right.

Posted by: Thatsnuts | February 18, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

So Cheney is unhappy that Bush did not realize the Bush administration was actually a crime family and that Bush as Don should have listened to his consigliere, Cheney, whose advise was to give the Capo Scooter a "consideration" for services rendered - namely protecting the Don's wrongdoing from public exposure by helping "whack" that stoolie's wife, Valerie Plame, and showing loyalty by refusing to sing to the prosecutors. No disrespect, Don, but it was the least you could do for a member of the family.

Posted by: marecek | February 18, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

A little late in the game, but Bush finally got something right. Maybe now we'll be able to finally find out before much longer how deeply involved Cheney was in the outing of Valerie Plame -- which, had a "liberal" done it, would surely have been called an act of treason.

Please visit my Blog: "Conservatives Are America's Real Terrorists"

Posted by: cjprentiss | February 18, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

While 'blue America' continues to fight the battles of the past I stand up for Dick Cheney, citing he was the backbone GWB never had. I'll add Bush was the better choice than either Gore or Kerry, which was the hand pol insiders dealt us. Rant on ignorant ones.

Posted by: nickatdabeach | February 18, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

It is no surprise that the Quin Hillyers (and the John Yoos and David Addingtons) of the world think would prefer that Cheney, rather than Bush, had been president.

I'm left to suspect their REAL first choice wasn't available, in this era, and in this country. Now in Germany, perhaps, in the 1930s....

Posted by: Observer44 | February 18, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Everyone is forgetting that Scooter took the rap for Cheney. Cheney was beholden to Scooter and really needed GWB to pardon him. I think it is choice that GWB finally got the better of Cheney, who so many times left GWB hanging in the wind.

Posted by: pillrollerjo | February 18, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Cheney scared me from day one...just a gut feeling. My gut was correct.

Posted by: elaine21 | February 18, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I'll give it to the republican's; they never forget or give up. On the other hand, they never give up or forget. As a Democrat from Chicago, I hope the republicans keep up with the childish behavior that both Cheney and Bush have shown to be so effective at showing and practicing. As time goes by, the true nature of both these guys will be revealed as traits we don't admire in others. I'll never forget the comment then running-for-president Obama made in reference to "childish things". Thank the country for electing an adult with an above average mind that understands that we all have a responsibility to each other. Bush? Cheney? They live in glass house along with what is left over of the senate and house Republicans.

Posted by: Jody2 | February 18, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

What a fine lot, Bush, Cheney and their assorted minions. Small but welcome consolation when I saw Cheney being wheeled around like Dr. Strangelove. I haven't stopped laughing. That sight was almost as funny as the nuggets of wisdon and logic spoken by President malaprop. Unfortunately, this whole lot simply does not want to wither away like the noxious weeds ought to do. A pox on all of them.

Posted by: sisyphus59 | February 19, 2009 5:00 AM | Report abuse

I didn't know they served stew at Starbucks. Sooner or later, Cheney will retreat to Wyoming, and maybe there, he can meet the fate of the late Matthew Shepard. I wouldn't wish that on him, but few folks would be shocked.

Posted by: RobertEvansinNYC | February 19, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

So Cheney is still hanging around? Wow, that's really pathetic. I guess he's not quite bright enough to realize that his refusal to just go home, already, only serves to lower the public's perception of him.

So Hillyer thinks Libby wasn't really guilty? Well I might go so far as to say he was the fall guy for Cheney, but he wasn't exactly innocent, either. That whole mess was really the capper on a disasterous 8 years, and if Bush saw the Cheney/Libby manouever as doing even more damage to his administration ... he was right. And I don't say that about Bush, well, ever. All that posturing and manipulation blew up in Cheney's face and like the spoiled brat that he is he just refuses accept his lumps. If he made promises to Libby that he couldn't live up to, Libby should have known better than to trust.

Posted by: cb11 | February 23, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

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