One Chicken Bone from the Presidency

In which our man Durst observes that Bush's choice of running mate should mollify that underrepresented voting bloc -- rich, balding white guys.

| Thu Jul. 27, 2000 3:00 AM EDT

Bad timing. The day George W. picks a running mate, not only do the Mideast peace talks fail (what were the odds?), but the most famous plane in the world crashes, squashing Dubya's prize photo-op down below the fold.

America had to wait through the Maxi Free commercial before Dan Rather got around to Bush's choice for running mate.

And what a choice it was. The political equivalent of a 12- year-old copy of Reader's Digest. Not to mention it's the very same guy Bush tapped to head his own vice-presidential search team. Apparently Dick Cheney (and no Bush and Dick jokes here please) conducted an exhaustive search only to discover the best candidate was himself. I imagine the report was turned in with "Who Short Listed These Losers?" in red on the front.

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Of course, we all know why George W. anointed the Dickster. Because Daddy told him to. The guy was not only Bush the Elder's secretary of defense but chief of staff to Gerald Ford as well. What's the deal here? It's like the same 12 guys have been running the Republicans for 25 years. Every four years they switch positions, like in volleyball. "Rotate!"

Cheney looks more presidential than the guy whose shoes he'll only be one fried chicken bone away from filling. And except for his positions and beliefs, he'd probably make a great chief executive. But if nothing else, the GOP has definitely nailed down that pivotal millionaire Texas oil baron voting bloc.

Cheney, chairman and CEO of the Halliburton Co., an oil-field services firm based in Dallas, supposedly told directors this week that he was leaving to take a government job, and nobody thought he meant a camp counselor position in Yosemite. This was immediately after he sold 100,000 shares of Halliburton stock, which netted him $5.1 million.

One can only hope this GOP precedent doesn't compel Al Gore to feel obligated to pick his own search team leader, Warren Christopher. The man looks like a pathology project stitched together by Caribbean med school rejects. But I have a feeling he'll go for the Cheney type. Any balding, white, career politico with glasses will do. Hey, George Mitchell, is that your phone ringing?

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