Dick Cheney

Cheney “One Of the Most Powerful Vice Presidents In History,” But Extremely Unpopular. According to CNN, “Twenty-three percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday say that Cheney is the country’s worst vice president, when compared with his predecessors. […] Although extremely unpopular, Cheney will leave office as one of the most powerful vice presidents in history. He played a crucial role in many of the Bush administration’s crucial policies and was a major proponent of using and expanding executive powers.” [CNN, 12/22/08]

Cheney “Is Regarded As One Of The Main Articulators And Architects Of The Bush Administration.” According to BBC, “Dick Cheney is regarded as one of the main articulators and architects of the Bush administration. Descriptions of him include ‘eminence grise’, the ‘most powerful vice president ever’ and even ‘Darth Vader’, a reference he has picked up himself. There was joke in Washington after Mr Cheney’s heart condition became known that ‘George Bush is just a heartbeat away from the presidency.’” [BBC, 10/29/06]

Morse

President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney during the 2005 presidential inauguration (January 20, 2005)
White House photo by Paul Morse

power

President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney (August 14, 2006)
White House photo by Eric Draper

Thurlby

President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates with the Joint Chiefs of Staff (August 31, 2007)
Defense Department photo by Cherie A. Thurlby

Bowman

President Bush with Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ( January 13, 2005)
Defense Department photo by Master Sgt. James Bowman, U.S. Air Force. (Released)

Bush Let Cheney Pick Most Of His Administration. According to a Slate article about the movie “The World According to Dick Cheney,” “Most of the film, though, centers on the first term of the George W. Bush administration, the zenith of Cheney’s powers. Bush was insecure and overly trusting of his advisors, and Cheney ran circles around him. Late in 2000, Bush let his Vice President choose almost the entire Administration, ensuring a power structure more personally loyal to Cheney than to the president.” [Slate, 1/23/13]

Cheney Exercised Control Over Bush’s Access To Information. According to a Slate article about the movie “The World According to Dick Cheney,” “After the 9/11 attacks, Cheney for a while actually seems to run the country, using his favorite technique: controlling what information the President is exposed to. […] At some point Cheney hid too much information from the President for too long. Cheney and his legal counsel, David Addington, had limited regard for the Watergate-era statutes meant to limit the power of the president. The Justice Department leadership, in contrast, believed the administration must obey laws even when they happened to disagree with them, and they refuse to approve an illegal wireless wiretapping law they consider illegal. Cheney leaves Bush in the dark until Bush finds out, independently, that much of the leadership of the Justice Department is about to resign in protest, creating a major scandal before the 2004 election. Blindsided, Bush finally begins to distrust Cheney; by the end of his presidency, he refuses Cheney’s phone calls and meetings.” [Slate, 1/23/13]