-- A marble bust of former Vice President Dick Cheney was officially unveiled today in the U.S. Capitol. During a mid-day ceremony, Cheney was introduced by his former boss, President George W. Bush.
“I must confess I’m somewhat reluctant to come back to Washington. The last time I showed up here I was hanged in the White House,” Bush said in reference to his official portrait. “This time I’ve returned only to find my vice president getting busted in the Capitol.”
President Bush said that when he told his father, President George H.W. Bush, he would be attending today’s ceremony, “Dad perked up and he said, ‘Send my best regards to old iron-a**.’”
Cheney and his wife Lynne then unveiled the marble likeness, the work of sculptor William Behrends of Tryon, North Carolina.
“Being cast in marble is something that every vice president looks forward to,” said Cheney, who served as the nation’s 46th vice president. “It’s not only a high honor, it’s our one shot at being remembered.”
Cheney went on to note that his bust was being displayed before that of his predecessor, former Vice President Al Gore. “Apparently there have been a few delays in the work on Al’s likeness. It may be that I’m somehow easier to carve into stone," he quipped.
Cheney then struck a more serious note about the time he served as vice president, saying that he regarded President George W. Bush as, “Someone who I respected and liked without reservation. He’s a man of great strength, also a great gentleman. He has integrity and a great sense of humor and an utter lack of pretense.”
The busts of all vice presidents are sprinkled throughout the Senate side of the Capitol.