So Dick Cheney undertook a national search for George W. Bush’s running mate, and he found himself. Talk about self-fulfilling prophecies: Cheney is the perfect staff-guy who went out and tapped the perfectly safe, senior, smart, bland but experienced foil for the junior and provincial Republican all-but nominee. In the Gulf War when Generals Schwarzkopf and Powell got the heroic face time, Dick Cheney was their good gray civilian boss, modestly in charge of the whole Pentagon.
George W. has found, in effect, his father’s Oldsmobile: he’s comfy, familiar, not a movement conservative but as conservative as they are. He dropped out of Yale in his teens, and jumped other tracks as well. He might have been a Ph.D. government professor; he seemed destined once to be House Speaker. He became instead a utility man in the eternal government: an over-achiever who’s still a bit underwhelming.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)
Roger Porter, Director of the Center for Business and Government at the Kennedy School, Harvard
David Frum, reporter for The Weekly Standard and author of Dead Right
Arianna Huffington, nationally syndicated columnist and author of How to Overthrow the Government
and David Brooks, senior editor at The Weekly Standard and author of Bobos in Paradise.