Bush and Cheney Still Best Friends Forever

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This item comes to us from White House chief correspondent Kenneth T. Walsh

White House officials say President Bush and Vice President Cheney remain close, despite media reports that Bush and Cheney have become estranged. Those reports intensified recently after Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Cheney's former chief of staff, was convicted of perjury and obstructing justice in the CIA leak case.

"I don't sense any rift, drift, or distance," says a Bush adviser who knows the two men well. In fact, they still see eye to eye on most policy questions, White House insiders say. Then why the recent change in direction away from Cheney's hard line in dealing with three rogue regimes around the world? (The administration has, after all, begun talks with Iran and Syria and negotiated a deal with North Korea on nuclear issues.)

"Pragmatism," says the adviser. Cheney agreed that it was time to give diplomacy more of a try, now that it's clear that President Bush will hang tough when he has to. "It's not an ideological slap in the face of the vice president," the adviser says. Cheney has also become more visible lately on the speaking circuit, indicating that he is still a valued spokesman for the president.

Etc.: How the Scars of Public Life Shaped Dick Cheney, on USNews.com