The Note: Gang of 1

Potential Democratic candidate for governor in New York, Tom Suozzi, participates in a panel discussion on "First Suburbs" at Brookings at 10:00 am ET.

VPOTUS: Bush staff versus Cheney staff:

David Sanger's political memo in the New York Times explores the autonomy with which Vice President Cheney operates within President Bush's White House. LINK

"Several White House officials said no one among the White House staff, including the chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr., felt empowered to dictate how news of the accident would be handled," writes Sanger.

More Sanger: "The tension between President Bush's staff and Mr. Cheney's has been palpable, with White House officials whispering to reporters about how they tried to handle the news of the shooting differently. Mr. McClellan, while being careful not to cross Mr. Cheney or his aides directly, has made a point of reminding reporters of how he dealt with Mr. Bush's bicycle accident last summer, when the president collided with a Scottish policeman at the G-8 summit."

And Mary Matalin uses the "not an irrational thing" construct in describing the Vice President's behavior.

The Washington Post's VandeHei and Baker report "top White House aides are pressuring Cheney to discuss the incident as early as today." But they also have one person "close to both men" Noting that "Bush is the only person in the White House who could persuade Cheney to change strategy." LINK

ABC News' Claire Shipman reports: "Sources close to the Vice President say that there was actually a statement prepared either by Cheney, or with his help, to be delivered Sunday morning after the accident. It was something the White House suggested--and might have been prepared with some White House help. But it was determined by his advisors and by him that morning that it was too 'convoluted,' and might not be the best way to proceed. They decided it might be best to have somebody who actually witnessed the accident explain what happened. For some reason, they thought that would seem more 'credible,' hence, the involvement of Katherine Armstrong. They now see that this was likely bad judgment."

"As has been reported--there is a fair amount of frustration and back and forth sniping between the staffs of the President and the Vice President. And there is considerable pressure from the White House now, and there has been on a daily basis, for the Vice President to make a public statement of some sort, and express contrition for the accident. He has resisted, say sources, not because he thinks it is silly--but because he's insistent on being sure his friend is in stable condition first, and because he's 'not sure what it will accomplish right now.' However, they say he will talk soon--the LATEST will be in his Wyoming speech on Friday."

VPOTUS: politics:

The Washington Post duo have former Republican Congressman Vin Weber saying Cheney "made it a much bigger issue than it needed to be," and former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson saying that Cheney "probably sees no need to publicly explain himself" because he decided when he was defense secretary that "journalists ask 'stupid questions' and distort things."

USA Today's Susan Page offers readers a brief history of the Veep's troubled relationship with the press. She has Sen. Simpson characterizing Cheney's relationship with the press thusly: "'You ask the stupid questions, and I won't answer them.'" LINK

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...