Sunday 10 October 2004
DISASTER: Bush's camp may not tolerate Cheney for much longer
Republican spin doctors are trying to portray George W Bush as a candidate of reconciliation and inclusion. But the glowering, bullying presence of Cheney has become a major problem. This is a man so removed from the politics of forgiveness and understanding that, as a congressman, he once voted against calling for Nelson Mandela's release from prison. His politics are those of selfish confrontation and hypocrisy.
"Cheney's manner and authority of voice far outstrip his true abilities," says Chas Freeman, who served under Bush's father as ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
"It was clear from the start that Bush Jnr required adult supervision, but it turns out Cheney has even worse instincts."He does not understand that when you act recklessly, your mistakes will come back and bite you on the ass."Here the Daily Mirror takes a hard look at the hard man of American politics.
1 HE is being investigated by federal prosecutors about the leak of the identity of an undercover CIA officer, the wife of a vocal critic of the US government in the build-up to the war in Iraq.
2 HE has twice been arrested for drink driving.
3 IN 1986 he opposed the release of Nelson Mandela (below) from jail in South Africa.
4 HE backed tax breaks for energy corporations and fought efforts to clean up hazardous waste.
5 HE made disastrous decisions as Defense Secretary under President George Bush Snr. He turned military duties over to private companies and put so-called intellectuals with no military experience into key posts in the Pentagon.
6 CHENEY'S stint as boss of energy company Halliburton led it from success to disaster in five years when he bought a subsidiary which saddled the firm with a multi-million pound asbestos lawsuit.
7 AS boss of Halliburton he struck lucrative deals with Saddam Hussein and Colonel Gaddafi.
8 DESPITE the fact that Cheney should have relinquished his links because of a conflict of interest he still gets £100,000 a year from Halliburton. And, surprise, surprise, the Bush-Cheney administration awarded Halliburton £5.5billion in contracts for work in Iraq.
9 AS vice president, Cheney has been THE decisive force pushing America into war.
10 HIS biggest failure as vice president was in 2002 when he visited nine Arab and Muslim countries six months after 9/11. He anticipated securing the countries' support to remove Saddam Hussein. But not one provided troops for the war.
11 NO president has returned to power after appointing him to a post in his administration.
Ronald Reagan was the only Republican president since Eisenhower who managed to serve two full terms.And he is the only one canny enough not to have appointed Cheney to office.
Under Richard Nixon he had a job in the executive branch, under Gerald Ford he was Chief of Staff and under George Bush snr he was Secretary of Defence