Cheney Wasn't Puppetmaster, Say Bush Aides

Members of inner circle rip beliefs about presidency as 'hooey'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2009 5:32 AM CST
Vice President Dick Cheney looks on as President Bush makes comments after meeting with the Counterterrorism Team in Washington last year.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
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(Newser) – Popular beliefs about the Bush presidency are way off the mark, a pair of top advisers who served throughout the administration tell the Washington Post. The idea that Vice President Dick Cheney wielded unprecedented power and pulled the strings on Bush's foreign policy is "just hooey," said Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten.

The image of an out-of-touch president insulated from bad news is also pure myth, according to National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, who recalls giving Bush briefings on US casualites at 7 am sharp each morning during the darkest days of the Iraq war. Both men say their boss is a lot smarter, more humble, and more humane than he is portrayed, and regret the failure of their efforts to boost his popularity.
(Read more Josh Bolten stories.)