The Chameleon President: The Curious Case of George W. Bush

By Clarke Rountree | Go to book overview

Chapter 9
Cheney’s Puppet

Cheney had greater power and influence than any other vice president
in history, and no one really knew how extensively he wielded it
.

—Scott McClellan, Bush’s Press Secretary1

George W. Bush’s vice president, Dick Cheney, was so much more experi-
enced than our 43rd president, that many people have assumed that he
exercised power much greater than any other vice president in history.
Indeed, the record shows that Cheney or his lieutenants had their hands
in most major decisions of the Bush administration. In fact, some have
argued that Cheney had more control over the Bush administration than
Bush himself had. This chapter gives voice to that argument
.

The previous chapter’s argument about how an evil George W. Bush undertook evil acts using evil means for evil ends misses one important caveat: George W. Bush wasn’t really in charge of his own presidency. That job effectively fell to his vice president, Dick Cheney, who used Bush from the very beginning as his puppet, implementing major policies and guiding his younger and less experienced running mate toward his own dark vision of the United States and its place in the world.

Few people will be surprised by that conclusion. It is widely believed by both liberals and conservatives that the vice president wielded enormous power over Bush’s presidency. For example, from the liberal side, Nation magazine writer John Nichols offers the book Dick: The Man Who Is

-175-

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The Chameleon President: The Curious Case of George W. Bush
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Chapter 1 - Not the Sharpest Tool in the Shed 1
  • Chapter 2 - The Callow Frat Boy 21
  • Chapter 3 - The Born-Again President 43
  • Chapter 4 - The Conservative Texan 67
  • Chapter 5 - The Man Who Would Be King 81
  • Chapter 6 - The Incredible Oedipal Bush 101
  • Chapter 7 - The Corporate Crony 121
  • Chapter 8 - The Evil President 145
  • Chapter 9 - Cheney’s Puppet 175
  • Chapter 10 - The Victim of Circumstances 201
  • Chapter 11 - The Far-Seeing Patriot 219
  • Conclusion - Would the Real George W. Bush Please Stand Up? 235
  • Notes 241
  • Index 275
  • About the Author 288
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