Vice President Cheney is writing his memoirs and is reported to be revealing something of a rift between him and President Bush in their second term. Brian Kates of the New York Daily News reports:
Dick Cheney grouses that President Bush "went soft" in his second term, caving in to public pressure and failing to take his hardline advice, according to associates working with the former vice president on his memoirs. Cheney, one of American history's most influential second bananas, is offering glimpses of his memoirs in chats with authors, diplomats and policy experts prior to publication in 2011, theWashington Post reports.
"In the second term, he felt Bush was moving away from him," one participant told the newspaper. "He said Bush was shackled by the public reaction and the criticism he took....The implication was that Bush had gone soft on him, or rather Bush had hardened against Cheney's advice.
Bush "showed an independence that Cheney didn't see coming," the insider said.
As many of us suspected, the treatment of Scooter Libby, Cheney's former chief of staff, became a big issue between the men toward the end of the second term:
... he is expected to serve up a particularly stinging account of his former boss' refusal to pardon I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, after the vice -president's former chief of staff was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in leaking an undercover CIA officer's name to the media in 2007.
The NYDN report is full of spin, but when the former VP's memoir is pblished, I look forward to frank and clear treatment.
I suspect that President Bush, a kind, compassionate, and sensitive man, was deeply dismayed by the public scorn and vitriol directed at him from the left. Vice President Cheney has different sort of personality. Their working relationship will fascinate historians for many decades to come.
Hat tip: Cliff Thier