'04 Campaign: The Vice President: Is Cheney an Asset or a Liability?

Is Cheney an Asset or a Liability?

George W. Bush's choice of Dick Cheney as his running mate defied the usual calculus of vice-presidential selection: a retired Cabinet Secretary from a state with just three electoral votes plus a charisma deficit didn't appear to equal a brilliant electoral strategy. But Cheney, it turned out, seemed to compensate for Bush's perceived weaknesses. Though only 5 1/2 years older than Bush, he added an air of experience and wisdom to a candidate who was only in his sixth year of politics.

Cheney's gravitas now feels more like gravity dragging Bush down. A TIME/CNN poll last week found that 43% of...

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