Bush and Dick?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread
Bush To Offer Job to Cheney
By Ron Fournier AP Political Writer Monday, July 24, 2000; 7:49 p.m. EDT
PHILADELPHIA Texas Gov. George W. Bush on Monday selected former Defense Secretary Dick Cheney to be his running mate, rounding out the GOP ticket with a Washington insider who played a pivotal role in his father's presidency.
A highly placed GOP source said Bush planned to make the offer Monday night or Tuesday. Cheney has told associates he would accept it.
Bush spokeswoman Karen Hughes confirmed that Bush had made his selection, but said, "He has not yet notified that individual or told anyone else about his choice." Republicans open their presidential convention, where Bush will be officially nominated, next Monday.
Cheney would bring the ticket a wealth of foreign policy experience and political stature traits that Bush, a two-term Texas governor, lacks himself. He is a bridge between Bush and his father, former President George Bush, who put Cheney in his Cabinet and promoted him for his son's ticket.
In two decades of public service, he served as President Ford's chief of staff, six terms in Congress from Wyoming and four years as Pentagon chief, where he successfully executed the Persian Gulf War.
Bush plucked him from the private sector to head up his selection process, a three-month search that ended with Cheney's name atop the short list.
Returning home from his office at Halliburton Co. of Dallas, an energy company he heads, Cheney was greeted by reporters. "Have a nice evening," he said, waving the journalists away.
He emerged as the leading candidate Friday, and was the only prospect under serious consideration after Bush emerged from seclusion from a weekend at his Texas ranch.
Even before the deal was sealed, Republican officials welcomed the prospect of a Bush-Cheney ticket. "I think it's a terrific choice," said Republican operative Charlie Black, reacting to reports of the choice. "He brings experience from not only the political world but also the foreign policy arena and he has been a leader in Congress."
Former Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander, who had been under consideration for the job, praised Cheney. "If he's looking for somebody who's prepared to do the job and who would be a loyal subordinate, you know he's got Cheney cold," Alexander said in a telephone interview.
Vice President Al Gore, whose convention begins Aug. 14 in Los Angeles, is considering a number of candidates, including former Senate George Mitchell of Maine, Florida Sen. Bob Graham and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry.
Bush had hoped to keep his selection a secret until his announcement, which could be as early as Tuesday.
"No news today. No news today. No news today," Bush told reporters jostling for word of his choice outside the governor's mansion Monday afternoon. "I will let you know soon."
Former Missouri Sen. John Danforth lingered on Bush's short list, but his prospects faded throughout the weekend as Bush mulled his options.
With Cheney and Danforth as finalists, Bush seemed determined to pick a rock-solid conservative with Washington experience who poses little or no political risk.
Bolder options were available to Bush. Among the GOP stalwarts who had been under consideration: Frank Keating of Oklahoma, a little known governor with a shoot-from-the lip style, and abortion-rights supporter Tom Ridge, governor of Pennsylvania, a key battleground state.
Also mentioned as prospects: Gov. George Pataki of New York; Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Fred Thompson and Bill Frist of Tennessee; and Rep. John Kasich of Ohio.
With so much at stake, rumors and speculation buzzed throughout the GOP community here and in Washington. The hottest gossip: Retired Gen. Colin Powell, who has frustrated Bush with his refusal to serve on the ticket, had reportedly entered negotiations with the Bush camp.
Sources deep inside the Powell and Bush camps quickly denied the report.
All signs had pointed to Cheney for days. He changed his voter registration from Texas to Wyoming to avoid a hitch in the Constitution; he told business associates he had a good chance of getting the job and leaving his company, Halliburton Co. of Dallas; and he forwarded an all-clear health report from his doctors to Bush.
Cheney, 59, sold nearly half his interest in Halliburton stock some 100,000 shares last month, raising an estimated $5.1 million. Before the sale, Cheney held options on 229,000 shares.
The health report came at the behest of Bush and his father, former President Bush, both of whom wanted to know whether Cheney's history of heart trouble would pose a problem in the campaign.
Sensitive to suggestions that the elder Bush is a quiet power behind his son's White House bid, campaign spokeswoman Karen Hughes said the call to Cheney's doctor was the only action taken by the former president in the review process.
Cheney served as defense secretary under President Bush, helping the president forge an international coalition in the Persian Gulf War. Before that, he served six terms in Congress from Wyoming and as chief of staff for President Ford.
His appointment would add stature and Washington experience to the ticket. Bush has faced questions about whether he is ready to be president, and advisers believe a running mate who knows his way around the White House and around the world would fill in the so-called gravitas gap.
In Congress, Cheney appealed to moderates, but racked up a conservative voting record and was a solid Ronald Reagan supporter. He was mentioned as a possible vice presidential running mate for Bush in 1992.
He is anti-abortion but says the party must accommodate Republicans on both sides of the debate.
Cheney suffered three mild heart attacks by age 48, including one while campaigning for the Wyoming House seat in the primaries. He has undergone coronary bypass surgery.
A rare black mark on his record: He admitted writing 21 bad checks while serving in the House, but told the Ethics Committee that investigated the House banking scandal that he always had a positive balance and no checks were returned for insufficient funds.
In 1991, he gave Pentagon briefings to GOP supporters who donated $5,000 to the Republican National Committee.
) Copyright 2000 The Associated Press
-- Uncle Bob (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 24, 2000
Ya know, I didn't realize until JUST NOW that that ticket is indeed BUSH AND DICK. How profound. What does it mean? Well, the names DO fit together well...sooo...
-- Bear In Mind (LingLing@the.Zoo), July 24, 2000.
I'm sure the Democrats are mightily relieved that neither Powell nor McCain will be standing on the podium with Dubya next week.
-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), July 24, 2000.
It's a foregone conclusion that with the pick of Cheney, Powell would be Secretary of State in GW's administration. And with the continued uncertainty of the current state of international affairs, the Secretary of State's position will carry far more weight than the VPs.
So in essense, a vote for Bush is still a vote for Powe
-- Hiway (Hiway441@aol.com), July 25, 2000.
...with the pick of Cheney, Powell would be Secretary of State in GW's administration.
That might work out well -- if Powell accepted. You start to wonder, though, who needs Dubya at that point.
-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), July 25, 2000.