The Dump Cheney Rumor, Round 46: Wrong Ex-President

Senior Republican leaders went to an ex-president hoping to get him to influence George Bush to knock Dick Cheney off of the 2004 ticket, according to a new book. Did they visit the ex-president with the most influence over George W — his father? That would at least have been worthy of the Washington Post’s time and effort to report. Instead, they look at the revelation that Gerald Ford turned down the request to give the current president unsolicited advice on the selection of running mates:

He may have been his White House chief of staff in the 1970s, but by 2004, former president Gerald R. Ford harbored serious reservations about whether Vice President Cheney should be kept on the ticket for reelection. According to a new book, senior Republican figures approached Ford about getting President Bush to dump Cheney in 2004 and, while Ford rebuffed them, he seemed sympathetic to their cause.
“Dick has not been the asset I expected on the ticket,” Ford told journalist Thomas M. DeFrank in an off-the-record conversation in March 2004. “As you know, he’s a great friend of mine, he did a great job for me, but he has not clicked, if that’s the right word. God knows he works at it.”
Ford told DeFrank he had heard from Republicans seeking his help to push Cheney out. “Other people are talking to me about making a change, but I have not promoted it myself,” he said. Still, he allowed that “I’m apprehensive as to his help to the ticket.” Asked about possible replacements, Ford readily named two New York Republicans — then-Gov. George Pataki and former mayor Rudy Giuliani.

This has become The Meme That Would Not Die. In the year prior to the 2004 election, pundits regularly speculated exactly when Cheney would get the push off the boat, and for whom. Condoleezza Rice generally won the informal polling, and Colin Powell got plenty of attention. I recall hearing Rudy Giuliani’s name in connection to a sudden withdrawal of Dick Cheney, since it was no secret that he wanted to run for President in 2008.
But George Pataki? That’s as absurd as asking Ford to intercede with Bush to dump Cheney in the first place. George Pataki would have done nothing to boost Bush in a general election. At least Cheney helped rally conservatives after a term of profligate spending. Could Pataki have delivered New York for the Republicans? Not in a million years.
The entire exercise looks more than a little absurd, anyway. Who would believe that Ford would have any influence on Bush? The correct ex-president would have been Poppy, and perhaps a few “senior Republicans” had the temerity to try that. They must have come away as unsatisfied as they did with Ford, who had become so out of touch that in 2004 he had never heard of “this fella [Scooter] Libby” who had served as Cheney’s chief of staff for years. Nice man that he undoubtedly was, Ford had not had his pulse on the party since he himself named another New Yorker, Nelson Rockefeller, as his Vice-President for his 29-month term of office.
The political news media should re-check the calendar. The year is now 2007. It’s safe to presume that Dick Cheney will not be asked to resign from his office to help George Bush’s re-election chances. Can this meme please have a stake driven through its heart now? Finally?

13 thoughts on “The Dump Cheney Rumor, Round 46: Wrong Ex-President”

  1. I have to admit that I haven’t spent much time reading the conspiracy nut blogs so I don’t get this.
    What is all of this fuss about Dick Cheney? I keep up to date in politics and current events and for the life of me, I can’t see what Dick Cheney has to do with anything. I know quite a bit about federal contracting and I haven’t seen anything that unusual about the way things were done with the Iraq reconstruction. I could go into greater detail, but nothing that was done to accelerate the contracting process is that big of a deal.
    This whole get-Dick-Cheney thing seems like mass insanity.

  2. Ahmadinejad has his 12th Imam treading water in a mystical well while leftist democrats have their hopes and dreams swirling down into Alice In Wonderlands rabbit hole of self-deception.
    Remember, they both live in a dreamworld of their own making completely divorced from reality. When dealing with them, lower your standards (ROE) and dispense with logic.

  3. Bush/Cheney won 2 terms.
    Many among the GOP were dead wrong.
    But that is par for the course nowadays.

  4. Speaking of Bush and Cheney, There is an idiotic ad by Philadelphia mayoral candidate Michael Nutter running. He is urging people to vote for him by showing big pictures of Bush and Cheney and saying “we have to hold these guys accountable for what they have done”. So tell me, how does the mayor of Philadelphia hold the president and vice president of the United States accountable for anything? These people are insane.

  5. mom. Many of them aren’t really insane. They just seem like it. Most of them are lying crooks with socialistic/tyrant tendencies who will say/do ANYTHING to get elected.

  6. Nutter is the same as the current corrupt mayor Street. Nutter’s Republican opponent is another laughing stock.
    And people in Philadelphia had accepted the same schemes for years, nothing’s going to change with a new election.
    All they see is the worse case scenario in NJ for comparison.

  7. YES!! Bio Mom, it almost makes you wish the other guy had a chance to win, doesn’t it?
    CE, I am still waiting for the MSM to report that President *Reagan* also wanted Cheney off the ticket. THAT’s when we will know they have all gone off the deep end…

  8. There is a strange sickness among many in the upper levels of the Republican Party, a delusion that if we can only put the right Republican in office that the Democrats will suddenly like us. Or let the Donks “help”. So Nixon gave the Dems the EPA. That worked so well.
    So Bush 41 “compromised” with the Donks on taxes. That worked so well.
    So W let Ted Kennedy write the education bill. That worked so well.
    Maybe we should just beat them after we win an election.

  9. Appeasement doesn’t work with radical Islamic fundamentalists or other zealous lemmings like BDS sufferers. Taking them seriously only lends them credibility.

  10. Well I do read the left blogs a lot an mostly what I see if you strip of all the tin foil what you get is even the loudest voices over there know in their deepest secret thoughts that this is a non issue drummed up to rally the troops. They whip up things to a frenzy over Cheney and Rumsfield and Rove like the three musketeers leading to the end of the world with their master manipulation of the puppet chimp in charge.
    Then they have a few willing tools in Congress who say things with a straight face that even school kids can tell are bald face lies. Sometimes I think you could substitute Paul Begalla for some of them or maybe Keith Olberman and wonder if there were a change.
    Face it, if the left dropped those three off their radar how much of a message would they have left?
    All much ado over nothing.

  11. To show how much you can discount the wacko left, their big issues over there so far today have been the Writers Strike, Opera crying over the discovery of abuse at African Schools and Colbert withdrawing from the Presidential Race.

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