Posted on Saturday 30 June 2007

The Cheney Vice Presidency
Barton Gellman
Washington Post National Reporter
Monday, June 25, 2007; 1:00 PM

Preston, Minn.: I have seen patients that have had startling and profound personality changes following coronary events and other life threatening health problems. Has there been any evidence Cheney has had such an effect? I remember reading a quote by someone to the effect he is no longer the person he once was.

Barton Gellman: There have been two main grounds of speculation that Cheney has changed fundamentally: grave health threats and the experience of 9/11 itself. We can’t see inside his head, so we can’t know. But I don’t think you need either theory. Cheney’s views have been remarkably stable over the years; what’s changed is his power to apply them. Brent Scowcroft famously said "Dick Cheney, I don’t know any more" (that’s pretty close if not verbatim). I’d submit that the Dick Cheney he knew had about the same views in the first Bush administration, but lost many of the internal debates to Scowcroft, Jim Baker and of course President Bush (41) himself.
I was going to leave on vacation without saying one more thing about Vice President Cheney, but surfing around is more fun that packing. This is from an on-line forum a few days back with Barton Gellman, one of the authors of the Washington Post series on Cheney. His comment, highlighted above, is illuminating. The reason Cheney didn’t try to bring off the kind of lunacy he’s engaged in as Vice President is because he worked for adults who either wouldn’t let him or would’ve fired him if he had tried. Now, he can either be viewed as working for a child, or working for no one at all. I think he’s right about the difference, it’s not a change in Cheney – it’s more like Cheney unleashed

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