About This Series | Chapters:

Expanding Authority for No. 2 Spot

In 1980, as Ford was being wooed to run for vice president, Cheney played a key role in re-imagining the job

'If there is precedent for Dick Cheney's role, according to former vice president Dan Quayle, it is the might-have-been second vice presidency of Gerald R. Ford.

Pollsters spoke of a "dream ticket" after Ronald Reagan won the 1980 Republican nomination and talk turned to Ford as his No. 2. Aides to both men tried to negotiate arrangements that might lure a former commander in chief into a secondary position.

Contemporary accounts said Ford was represented by former secretary of state Henry A. Kissinger and others. But at a 2000 conference of former White House chiefs of staff, Cheney disclosed that he had been deeply involved. He recalled an intense debate about how to shape expanded lines of authority in a job often ridiculed as largely ceremonial.

Ford "made a number of requests in terms of his influence over the budget, personnel, foreign policy, et cetera," Cheney said. "I can remember sitting in a session with Bill Casey, who later became CIA director. Bill had a list of items that in fact the Reagan people were prepared to discuss. They went a long way toward trying to accommodate President Ford."

Tempted, but wary of splintering presidential authority, Ford finally withdrew his name. Quayle, looking back on it, said Cheney appears to have accepted much the same deal.

About This Series | Chapters:

Cast of Characters

Read about the important people in and out of government who have had an impact on Vice President Dick Cheney's career.

Dick and Lynne Cheney.

Cheney's Personality

Dick Cheney's colleagues, friends, and acquaintances shared stories with Post reporter Bart Gellman.


Cheney's Life & Career

Starting as a junior aide on Capitol Hill, Dick Cheney built an unmatched Washington resume as White House chief of staff, House minority whip and secretary of defense.


Please email us to report offensive comments.

Now we are actually listening to Quayle? The world really is going to hell in a handbasket. The terrorists were supposed to be the enemy.

Posted by: craiggger | June 26, 2007 12:37 AM

GET THESE GUYS OUT NOW. They have been moldering in the closets for too long.

Investigate, Impeach, Imprison

Posted by: craiggger | June 26, 2007 12:40 AM

Dear God how I wish Ford had accepted the offer. The country would have been spared Bush the Younger because Bush the Elder would never have become President and his son would have been a failed business man instead of the most hated President ever.

Posted by: Opa2 | June 26, 2007 12:54 AM

Dear God how I wish Ford had accepted the offer. The country would have been spared Bush the Younger because Bush the Elder would never have become President and his son would have been a failed business man instead of the most hated President ever.

Posted by: Opa2 | June 26, 2007 12:54 AM

As a cautionary tale of executive abuse of power, this series should be required reading for every American citizen.

Posted by: mnbucklew | June 26, 2007 08:02 AM

I'm feeling like this section of the series is trying to turn us to the softer-gentler side of Cheney...or winding us down in a sense. The bottom line is that for reasons that only make sense to Dick Cheney he's decided to lead America on a crash course to international shame and domestic ruin. He and Bush should be immediately impeached and tried as war criminals. What is the hold up?

Posted by: morgansbustoursinc | June 26, 2007 08:58 AM

If the VP had something to do with the Jefferson case, I'd bet money Jefferson was framed to make the democrats look bad. The VP has already shown he's quite capable of destroying careers, i.e. Valarie Plame. Impeach him. Since when does one individual have power to hold back information from department heads. Such as Conda. Rice never receiving Irans request to "talk." She was taken back during a congressional hearing when asked about the "message" which she apparently had only heard about it just at that moment. He has abused power that was never intended to grant that position. What a manipulating sneak, Greenspan probally thought it was Bush's idea. What a bunch of weak minded people we have in this administration. The strong ones who oppose him he gets rid of. What's the delay. How much more evidence is needed. Impeach him. And just what did the VP cook up with the Saudis when he was over there last? I bet it was his idea to try to hold the people hostage over gas prices hoping for drilling rights. Ha ha, we'd rather go green.

Posted by: tonijhagan | June 26, 2007 10:52 AM

As someone who lived through (even voted for) the Nixon administration I am incredulous at what passes for the American executive branch. Our country no longer stands for what is good and right and kind and brave in the eyes of the world. We must return to our founding documents. Not long ago a conference in Washington D.C. was concerned with getting American citizens out of Iran where they are being held against their will. Yet our own government does the same to other citizens. I would like to see some of our executive branch water boarded and placed in strain positions and sleep deprived and then say they still have no opposition to these tortures. Vice President Cheney has been a prime figure in unseating the rule of law in our country. This is a very shameful time.... Dan

Posted by: danharris90 | June 26, 2007 01:10 PM

It is scary to think that the Vice President has dragged the nation down so far and yet, it seems, with impunity. How do we hurry up the pace-maker replacement option?

Posted by: chuckhummer | June 26, 2007 02:04 PM

Many federal employees have seen wrong doing and have tried to get it addressed to no avail. They see their case causing a stir, and some investigators enthusiastically moving forward for about a week. Then it slows down, even stops, the investigators stop answering phone calls, and are often replaced with new people.

One Federal Investigator whose case which uncovered criminal activity in a certain large defense contractor and within the federal government found that when the case had gone through the criminal investigatory arms of several agencies, it was kicked up to the FBI. The FBI agent who was assigned the case, tried to tell the original investigator who first developed the case, it was classified, and said the FBI would not discuss it with the original Federal investigator. The same FBI investigator also tried to tell everyone "no one will talk to me about this case." This was absolutely not true. In fact a long list of people, many still currently working for the government or for the defense contractor in question were just waiting for someone in authority to come and ask them to give a deposition or at least interview them. Later the original investigator was told quietly that the authorization for the wrongoing came from the very highest levels within the Pentagon. This whole arena appears to be littered with lies and liars.

For more information regarding some federal whistleblowers see: http://whistleblowersupport.blogstream.com

Posted by: rcvb | July 3, 2007 09:27 PM

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