The Man Who Didn't Want To Be President

by Patrick Appel

Alex Massie comments on that Gellman piece from this morning. After noting that in the article "Cheney actually endorses the caricature of a black-hatted Veep pulling the stings and manipulating a callow, incurious President," Massie thinks about the role Cheney's lack of presidential ambition played in his actions:

Freed from any kind of electoral or political reality, Cheney was able to rampage through Washington, doing all kinds of damage to almost every institution or office or agency he touched. That's the price you pay for Cheney's lack of personal political ambition. We often think of political ambition as something to be wary of - and rightly so - but Cheney demonstrates that the quiet lack of personal ambition can have disastrous consequences too, for it frees a man from having to be accountable for his actions, permitting him to justify anything and everything if it moves him an inch closer to achieving goals that he, and he alone, has set.

Since leaving office, Cheney has done more to make Bush a sympathetic character than almost anything Bush could have done himself.