From Publishers Weekly
In this critical investigation of former vice president Cheney's role in George W. Bush's administration, Warshaw (The Keys to Power
) reveals how Bush and Cheney split the presidency, each using the office's power to advance agendas that rarely overlapped. This suited Bush's limited agenda and experience well; while he focused on education reform and faith-based initiatives, he was content to leave Cheney in charge of economic and foreign policy. As head of Bush's transition team, Cheney staffed virtually the entire administration with longtime associates who shared his vision of a strong—some have called it œimperial—executive. He and his staff controlled political appointments and drafted most of the 800-plus signing statements affixed to bills that declared the president's refusal to enforce selected parts of laws passed by Congress. Warshaw rejects analyses that portray either Cheney or Karl Rove as puppet masters in favor of portraying Bush as capable in the spheres that mattered to him, where Cheney was careful not to interfere. Thoroughly researched and insightful into the complexities of both personalities, the book offers an engaging look at the most controversial presidency since Nixon's. (June)
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"The author successfully argues that Cheney did not usurp the power of the presidency but rather reached an accommodation with Bush on a division of labor and responsibility with the executive office ... The work contains extensive notes and documentation. It is a must read for presidential scholars and all others trying to understand the Bush-Cheney relationship."—J. R. Hdetke, Choice.
"Shirley Anne Warshaw's masterful analysis demonstrates how George W. Bush ceded the most significant presidential powers to Dick Cheney. Warshaw's book provides strong evidence that Cheney was able to grab the levers of power that Bush had so casually yielded. The lesson is a stark one; the combination of a weak president, and a vice president who captured that power, took the country in dangerous directions the voters neither envisioned nor chose." —Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's "Hardball" and NBC's "The Chris Matthews Show"
"The Co-Presidency of Bush and Cheney chronicles Vice President Cheney's unprecedented role in helping to shape White House policy on energy, Iraq, assertions of presidential prerogative, and more. Shirley Anne Warshaw details and assesses the actions of the Bush administration—a provocative and valuable start in exploring the lessons that future presidents may take from the past eight years." —Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief, USA Today
"In my view—an insider's view—Dr. Warshaw is too kind. Dick Cheney was not copresident, he was president. In all matters of great importance, that's the way he wanted it, that's the way it was. Dr. Warshaw's book brilliantly illuminates Cheney's shadow presidency, and for that reason alone should be read by everyone who cares about the fate of our Republic." —Lawrence Wilkerson, Former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Visiting Harriman Professor of Government and Public Policy at the College of William and Mary
"Warshaw lays out with commendable academic diligence the division of power in the Bush White House and how a new, untested president, surrounded by political aides, willingly ceded all the heavy lifting to his vice president. Dick Cheney commandeered economic, energy, environmental and national security while George W. Bush kept busy with his faith-based agenda. The irony is that Bush succeeded with his small share of the copresidency while Cheney became a human wrecking ball, taking Bush down with him, yet leaving a legacy of broadened executive power for future presidents." —Eleanor Clift, Contributing Editor, Newsweek