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The Co-Presidency of Bush and Cheney (Stanford Politics and Policy) [Hardcover]

Shirley Anne Warshaw
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 14, 2009 0804758182 978-0804758185 0
The Bush administration is out but the American public continues to suffer from its disastrous domestic and foreign policies. In this excellently documented work, presidential scholar Shirley Anne Warshaw offers an in-depth analysis and exploration of the political maneuvering that got us into our current mess. Combining her study of the motivations of both Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, knowledge of the spheres in which they operated, and personal interviews with White House staff and Washington insiders, Warshaw demonstrates that these complementary conservatives were nothing less than co-presidents. Breaking with popular sentiment, she denies that Bush's authority was hijacked or stolen. Bush, rather, focused on building what he called a moral and civil society, anchored by a war on science and by the proliferation of faith-based programs, while allowing Cheney to lead in business and foreign policy. Warshaw highlights Cheney's decades-long career in Washington and his familiarity with its inner workings to present a complete picture of this calculating political powerhouse who continues to capture headlines. From Cheney's unprecedented merging of the vice president's office into the president's to his abhorrence of what he deemed congressional interference in the president's ability to do his job, Warshaw paints an intriguing, and at times frightening, portrait.

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Editorial Reviews

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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"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

Product Details

  • Series: Stanford Politics and Policy
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford Politics and Policy (April 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804758182
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804758185
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,120,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MUST READ April 28, 2009
I received my copy of The Co-Presidency of Bush and Cheney, and I can hardly put it down. Shirley Warshaw has written a tour-de-force that explores and probes the two principals of the Bush-Cheney Administration. An exhaustively researched work of scholarship of the highest standard, this book is highly readable and not just for the policy wonks and political junkies. Dr. Warshaw has taken pains to present a thorough analysis and fair investigation of the last administration, and every citizen who reads it will find his or her understanding of executive power greatly enriched. The Co-Presidency of Bush and Cheney is a powerful, thought-provoking must-read for every voting American.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Without Late-Night-Cable-Passion May 23, 2009
One of the nation's leading experts on the American presidency, Warshaw's new book represents the best of this discussion--while making it clear that she sides with those who see Cheney as the driving force behind the Bush Presidency, she does so with scholarship and erudition--two skills largely missing from a debate that has become hyper-emotional. This is absolutely the first read on this subject, and one of Warshaw's best books. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Co-Presidency of Bush and Cheney May 5, 2009
Posted 05/05/09: Seems our outrage over Bush for that last eight years was misguided. Dr Warshaw helps us to correct our course in her latest book on the US Presidency. Each chapter is self contained and astounding in breadth and depth. I am still wondering how this could have happened. The American public needs to know just what took place. Everyone should read this book. Otherwise I fear we are susceptible to future power grabs in our supposedly, "checks and balances" government. This is the book to read. Excellent Job!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Co-Presidency power sharing April 24, 2009
The role that Cheney played in the Bush presidency is exposed in major detail in this book. It promises to inform, infuriate, educate, and entertain.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book May 26, 2009
Shirley Warshaw has done it again. Like her other celebrated books (Keys to Power , The Clinton Years, and Domestic Presidency) The Co-Presidency of Bush and Cheney is wonderfully written and is a must-read for anybody interested in the American political system.
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