A book by Ron Suskind< read all 2 reviews
To me, stranger yet is what the book suggests about Vice President Cheney, a close personal friend of O'Neill's for several decades who was primarily responsible for his appointment as Secretary of the Treasury. About two years later, Cheney informed him that the President "has decided to make some changes in the economic team. And you're part of the change." When Cheney then asked O'Neill to claim that it was his decision to leave public service, he refused. "I'm too old to be telling lies now." If the President Bush plays his cards close to the vest, the Vice President seems to keep his locked up in an undisclosed location. In decades to come, historians may well judge Richard Cheney to be his nation's most enigmatic as well as most influential Vice President. "We thought we knew Dick," O'Neill observes. "But did we?" Does anyone?
In this book, Suskind seems to take O'Neill at his word, that what O'Neill expressed to him is what he sincerely believes is true when commenting on various people and his relationships with them. Others are far better qualified than I to separate fact from opinion, to separate O'Neill's perceptions from the realities of his tenure. Obviously, O'Neill deeply resents what he views as mistreatment of him while Secretary of the Treasury; he also seems to lament even more his inability to influence the process by which issues were discussed and by which policies were formulated in the Bush administration. He characterizes cabinet-level debates as "incestuous amplification," driven more by self-serving expediencies than by principles.
Frankly, I do not know how much to believe of O'Neill's account even as I welcome it as another source of information, commentary, and evaluation of the current Bush administration as our nation proceeds into an uncertain, indeed perilous future.
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