In an online chat with the Washington Post today, former UN Ambassador John Bolton — who is “known to be close to Vice President Dick Cheney” — was asked if the way Cheney “has dramatically altered the role and power of the vice presidency” was “a positive change.” Noting “Cheney’s role reflects a continuing evolution of his office,” Bolton responded, “I think this is entirely a positive development“:
QUESTION: Mr. Ambassador: Vice President Cheney has dramatically altered the role and power of the vice presidency in this administration. Is this a positive change? Do you see future administrations retaining a more useful role for the VP, and who in current politics has the strength of character, in either party, to follow Mr. Cheney’s lead in wielding even a part of that power in what can be an essentially unaccountable role?
JOHN BOLTON: I think that Vice President Cheney’s role reflects a continuing evolution of his office. It is true he has more responsibilities that any prior Vice President, but his immediate predecessor, Vice President Gore, had more responsibilities than any of his. I think this is entirely a positive development.
Bolton, who was part of the team of lawyers that fought the 2000 Florida recount on behalf of Bush and Cheney, shares many of Cheney’s views on expansive executive power. For instance, in 2006, when Bolton’s Senate confirmation was set to fail, he and Cheney sought “some way to bypass the Senate.”
Given their relationship, it’s not surprising that Bolton would consider Cheney’s efforts to increase the power of the Vice Presidency a “positive development.” Here are a few examples: Read more