The Plank

The Cheney Chronicles: "who Is Really In Charge?" Edition

By and

Near the end of Stephen Hayes's book, he talks to President Bush about the decision to fire Donald Rumsfeld:

The conversation between Bush and Cheney had been intense. "He listened very carefully and--he listened very carefully," says Bush. "He thinks Donald Rumsfeld was a great secretary of defense, as do I. And I think in this case, he really felt like his friend ought to stay the years if that's what Donald Rumsfeld felt like doing himself.

As with the subject of gay marriage, Bush's nervousness is clearly evident. Then we get this on the following page (Cheney's staff is preparing him to go on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace):

An aide fired one tough question after another at the vice president. Then: Did you agree with President Bush's decision to replace Donald Rumsfeld as secretary of defense?"Absolutely not," Cheney replied without elaborating. His answer surprised the small group with him, but it was the answer he was determined to give if Wallace asked, even at the risk of angering his boss. But the story was a month old, and Wallace never asked the question.

--Isaac Chotiner

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