The Voter Quoter

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Dick, The Man Who Is President by John Nichols, The New Press, 2004

Excerpt from Introduction: "The Evil Genius in the Corner", pp. 9-10

"Cheney was the dominant figure on September 11," observed James Mann, the brilliant analyst of U.S. foreign policy and policy makers who serves as senior writer-in-residence at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Even wire service reports noted that dominance, with United Press International suggesting that it "reintroduced nagging questions about who was realy in charge in the Bush White House." Those questions grew louder after Cheney delivered a minute-by-minute account of the actions he took to secure the nation during an appearance the Sunday after the attacks on NBC's Meet the Press.

Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley summed up the point of that appearance in an interview with UPI: "It was Cheney telling the world, 'Don't worry about Shrub, I know what's going on.' " But Cheney knew his place. After he delivered that message to those American and international observers who were savvy enough to be looking for the signal, Cheney returned to the backseat. He did not make another formal television appearance for months. Working from the "secure, undisclosed location" that would become the fodder for jokes by late night comedians, the vice president who briefly revealed that he was in charge returned himself to the shadows. Cheney had no qualms about relinquishing the limelight he had briefly grabbed. There was serious work to be done now. Dick Cheney had a country to run. And he was thinking that the time had finally come for a new kind of war.

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