Dick Cheney may be turning on his old boss.
Working on his memoir, which he is writing in longhand on yellow legal pads in his office above his home's garage, Cheney is reportedly airing frustration at former President Bush for "going soft" near the end of their two terms in the White House. Word of Cheney's sentiments came out after the tough guy ex-veep met with authors, diplomats, policy experts and past colleagues to discuss the project.
"In the second term, he felt Bush was moving away from him," said a participant in the gathering. "The implication was that Bush had gone soft on him, or rather Bush had hardened against Cheney's advice."
The two men maintain respectful ties, speaking on the telephone now and then, though aides to both said they were never quite friends. But there is a sting in Cheney's critique, because he views concessions to public sentiment as moral weakness. After years of praising Bush as a man of resolve, Cheney now intimates that the former president turned out to be more like an ordinary politician in the end.
In the past, hints of disagreement between Bush and Cheney have emerged, over Bush's firing of Secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld and the former president's refusal to pardon top Cheney aide Scooter Libby. Cheney's memoir, in which he promises to describe heated arguments with Bush, particularly over Libby, is due out in spring of 2011.
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