Is Dick the pick?

Reports indicate that former Secretary of Defense Cheney will be Bush's running mate.

By Alicia Montgomery
July 24, 2000 9:10PM (UTC)
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Forget Colin Powell. So long John McCain. Tom Ridge, don't pack for the White House. The Washington Post reports that George W. Bush has settled on Dick Cheney, his father's secretary of defense, as his running mate. The official announcement is expected Tuesday, after Bush has completed his "dear loser" phone calls to the also-rans. Though many thought that Cheney's post as head of the Bush vice presidential search team meant he wasn't being considered for the job, he has recently eclipsed early favorites Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating and Arizona Sen. John McCain. Though whispers of a Colin Powell candidacy emerged early Monday, Republican sources close to the campaign have discounted those reports.

For the last few days, Cheney has been acting like a winner. He underwent a complete physical and got a clean bill of health, allaying Bush's concerns about Cheney's previous heart problems. He has also switched his voting registration from Texas to Wyoming, a move that would circumvent possible electoral college complications that would accompany a two-Texan ticket.

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I could've been a contender
The fire is definitely out for Bill Richardson's veep prospects on the Democratic side, reports the New York Times. Months ago, the Clinton administration energy secretary and Latino community leader seemed a shoe-in for the shortlist, but a series of high profile blunders, including a raging government-set fire in Los Alamos, N.M., the subsequent disappearance of hard drives that contained national nuclear secrets and increased friction between Richardson and Capitol Hill Republicans.

Though Richardson found the veep possibility flattering, he claims that he never set his heart on it. "Look, I would have accepted it," Richardson said of a spot as running mate. "But I wasn't pining for it. I believe in fate. I realize it's a decision based on a lot of factors that I can't control. I saw my name on lists. I was interviewed, but I never campaigned for it. Now that it's not going to happen I can deal with it."

Gore's greener pastures
The current vice president dodged a bullet when the environmental group, the Sierra Club, endorsed him. The Associated Press reports that the Democrat accepted the nod by leveling a preemptive shot at those who have labeled Gore "ozone man" for his Earth-first views. "I know the special-interest attacks are going to continue," Gore said. "So let me be perfectly clear: I wear those attacks as a badge of honor." The Sierra Club's announcement ended speculation that Green Party candidate Ralph Nader might have stolen Al Gore's thunder within the organization.

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Poll positions
Presidential race:

  • Bush 48 to Gore 46 (USA Today/CNN/Gallup July 14-16).
  • Bush 43 to Gore 41 (CBS News July 13-16).
  • Bush 46 to Gore 40 (Fox News July 12-13).
  • Bush 45 to Gore 41 (Zogby July 14-17).
  • Gore 46 to Bush 45 (Newsweek June 29-30).
  • Bush 40 to Gore 39 (Associated Press June 21-25).

    Third-party candidates:

  • Nader 5 to Buchanan 3 (USA Today/CNN/Gallup July 14-16).
  • Nader 4 to Buchanan 4 (CBS News July 14-16).
  • Nader 6 to Buchanan 3 (Zogby July 14-17).
  • Nader 6 to Buchanan 2 (Newsweek June 29-30).

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  • Alicia Montgomery

    Alicia Montgomery is an associate editor in Salon's Washington bureau.

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