Former Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney
July 24, 2000 5:03 PM   Subscribe

Former Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney will be George W. Bush's running mate.
posted by Awol (14 comments total)
Is he nuts??!??!!

Someone in a previous thread noted how John McCain has a pull with the "Reagan Democrats"... GWB is ultra-conservative as is, and he's gonna pull in a Military guy??!!??

That's it... Duke is my guy! (Not the Klan guy, the Doonesbury guy.)
posted by CyberPal at 5:11 PM on July 24, 2000

That's too bad. Someone's followers are going to be very disappointed.
posted by EssenDreck at 5:29 PM on July 24, 2000

Excellent choice. Honorable, decent man with a long and distinguished career serving America. First came to national prominence as a wide-eyed, but capable younger chief of staff in the Ford White House. Served five terms as congressman from Wyoming and would have been Speaker of the House if not for his retirement from that body to serve President Bush as Secretary of Defense during the period that included the reasoned successes in Kuwait.

Not a single issue politician, Cheney offers broad appeal to the Republican coalition and a refreshing character to those tired of sleaze and self-centeredness in Washington. Dubya helped himself.
posted by netbros at 8:06 PM on July 24, 2000

Cheney is an excellent choice, although there are quite a few party faithful who would've hoped that this veep spot could've gone to someone younger (John Kasich, Tom Ridge, Christine Todd Whitman, JC Watts) who could then be tapped, in 2008 (hehe, implicit wishful thinking) to go on to a presidential run. Cheney in 2008? Not a chance. But he is, indeed, an asset to the ticket and will be a good VP. (More implicit wishful thinking.)
posted by Dreama at 11:32 PM on July 24, 2000

I wasn't going to vote Republican anyway, but Cheney seems awfully dull to me. Choosing the person who headed your vice-presidential selection committee seems laughable, and I can't imagine that Cheney brings anyone to Bush who wasn't already going to support him. Unlike a dark horse candidate like Powell or McCain, who both would bring independent voters to the ticket and make life much harder for Gore.
posted by rcade at 6:21 AM on July 25, 2000

I think this is great. Bush is strongly conservative and has had to work hard against appearing to be the classic good-ol-boy rich white guy who really doesn't give a damn about anything but playing golf and making money. His problem, of course, is that he *is* the classic good-ol-boy rich white guy texas oil money idiot, and it keeps showing up.


- was Secretary of Defense in Bush Sr's administration
- was intimately involved with the Gulf War
- is part of Big Oil, as chairman of Halliburton
- is against abortion rights
- is for prayer in schools
- opposed the Equal Rights Amendment

Every one of Cheney's notable qualities amplifies one of Bush's weaknesses. Was Bush *trying* to help his competition? Vice president selection is usually a way to broaden a candidate's appeal, and Cheney does pretty much the opposite for Bush.

In the end, I have a hard time getting too excited about this; Bush represents just about everything that's wrong with American politics right now, so I want to see him crash *hard*. The problem is, Gore isn't really any better, so cheering over Bush's campaign missteps ends up ringing a bit hollow...

posted by Mars Saxman at 12:29 PM on July 25, 2000

Predicted weblog headline: "Bush Wants Dick".
posted by bradlands at 12:43 PM on July 25, 2000

I don't see how being Secretary of Defense and being intimately involved in the Gulf War could be considered weaknesses by anyone. It's a good pick, one that won't hurt him at all in the polls. After all, I don't think he needs McCain to win the White House.
posted by gyc at 1:47 PM on July 25, 2000

Gore is going to be hard pressed to come up with a VP candidate who is as qualified for the position as Cheney. Cheney may not be an exciting candidate, but he was not chosen for his ability to bring flash and style to the campaign, he was chosen for his ability to bring knowledge, diplomacy, integrity and proven leadership to the administration. That's what it's all about.

Clearly, after 8 years of the Clinton-Gore slap and tickle show, we've forgotten that it is ability in leadership and not ability in making people feel happy and good and loved up is what is important in the position.
posted by Dreama at 2:13 PM on July 25, 2000

I think the big reason Cheney was picked was in case liberals bring out the Bush doesn't know the Secratary of State of Zimbabwe (or whatever they were talking about...) then the conservatives can respond, look, he's got Cheney there, this guy has experience in foreign policy. Despite his recent leaks, I think John McCain would have had a breakdown if he had to be vice president - just being #2 is not McCain. Picking someone like Ridge - MAYBE it would pick up independent voters - but it may also alienate his base (who might support someone like Buchanan, or no one), and I think would show he's vulnerable to what the press says he should do, and he wouldn't stand up for his own policy. Does any Republican think he should take advice from the New York Times??
posted by dagnyscott at 8:14 AM on July 26, 2000

Actually, I agree with the NYT: Cheney is the ultimate safe choice, who won't hurt Bush with core supporters (like the conservatives who don't trust McCain) nor with the swing voters/Reagan Dems who generally thought the Gulf War was a good idea and the guys who ran it were keen. Additionally it brings valuable Beltway and foreign policy experience to a future Bush administration, which another governor (Whitman, Ridge) wouldn't.

Peaceniks like Cyberpal are a very small percentage of the electorate, and those are the only people I can imagine would be offended by this (barring the health concerns issue).

Anyway, according to the 13 keys prediction system [sorry, self-blog, but it IS on-topic], the vice-presidential choice turns out not to be a significant factor -- at least not one of the 13 most significant ones. Even the old "regional balance" philosophy didn't do much, except occasionally (e.g. LBJ winning Texas for JFK) -- so it's no surprise it's gone out the window.
posted by dhartung at 12:23 PM on July 26, 2000

Peaceniks??? Hey pal, I like a good war as much as the next guy!

It's just that the liberals are always whining how the Republicans pull money out of social programs to build up the military. So having a former Secretary of Defense in may not help the stereotype and may make this ticket seem "ultra-conservative" for your average American's taste.

Hey, gotta admit this race is actually becoming interesting... it's predicted to be the most "epathetic election race in recent history"....
posted by CyberPal at 2:21 PM on July 26, 2000

I meant "apathetic election". Duh...
posted by CyberPal at 2:23 PM on July 26, 2000

And when all else fails, toss out military spending and watch the feathers of hawks and doves alike get ruffled.

But I gotta say that I'm all in favour of increasing military spending -- with increases directed entirely to the pay raise that Congress has seen fit to deny our military members repeatedly over the last 10 years. It strikes me as an embarrassment and an unjustified immorality that thousands of enlisted men and women must resort to food stamps and food bank handouts to feed their families.
posted by Dreama at 7:07 AM on July 27, 2000

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