Karl Rove: I Didn't Want Dick Cheney

Bush strategist says to ignore politics when picking a VP
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2012 12:46 PM CDT
Karl Rove: I Didn't Want Dick Cheney
Dick Cheney turned out all right in Karl Rove's book.   (AP Photo/Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Miranda Grubbs)

From now until August, pundits will be speculating about Mitt Romney's VP choice, and poring over the political benefits of each candidate. Karl Rove thinks Romney should ignore all of that and choose, as George W. Bush did, the "best partner in the White House and a person the country would have confidence in if something terrible happened to him." In his Wall Street Journal column, Rove reveals that he at first strenuously objected to Bush picking Dick Cheney as his VP, and that Bush even had Rove detail all his objections—as Cheney sat, "mute and expressionless, next to the governor."

Rove's objections to Cheney were all political. "The next day, Mr. Bush called to say I was right. There would be real political problems if he chose Mr. Cheney. So solve them, he said. Politics was my responsibility." In hindsight, Rove thinks that approach—ignoring the politics in order to "put governing first"—was the right one. It's been more than 50 years since a running mate has swung an election, he argues. "Choose the best person for the job. Leave the politics to the staff." (Running mates don't deliver a big home-state advantage, either.) Click for Rove's full column. (Read more Mitt Romney stories.)

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