A shocker out of former President Bush's upcoming memoir -- he considered dropping Vice President Dick Cheney as his running mate in 2004.
According to excerpts seen by The New York Times, Bush wrote that he though about it to “demonstrate that I was in charge,” to dispel the popular notion that it was really Cheney who was running the country.
Bush said that the idea came from Cheney himself during a private lunch in mid-2003. He wrote:
While Dick helped with important parts of our base, he had become a lightning rod for criticism from the media and the left. He was seen as dark and heartless – the Darth Vader of the administration.
Accepting Dick’s offer would be one way to demonstrate that I was in charge. The more I thought about it, the more strongly I felt Dick should stay. I hadn’t picked him to be a political asset; I had chosen him to help me do the job. That was exactly what he had done.
At one of our lunches a few weeks later, I asked Dick to stay and he agreed.
Bush’s consideration of replacing Cheney on the ticket has an interesting back-story. During his father’s unsuccessful reelection bid in 1992, Bush writes that he urged him to dump Vice President Quayle and put Cheney, then the defense secretary, on the ticket. His father declined, “but I never completely gave up on my idea of a Bush-Cheney ticket," Bush wrote.
The book, “Decision Points” will be published next week.