The Official Book on Dick Cheney
Vice President Dick Cheney is finally getting the book-length biography treatment-and he's playing along. We hear that the Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes is hot on the case and plans to publish a bio titled, naturally enough, Cheney as early as next spring. "I'm not a historian," Hayes fesses up. "I approached it like a long magazine article." A very long article, considering Cheney's been in the public eye for some five decades. "It's a pretty unique perspective of American history over the last 50 years," Hayes says of Cheney, who worked in three administrations before being tagged by George W. Bush as veep. As is Bush with biographer Robert Draper, we hear Cheney, his staff, and friends are cooperating. So what's surprised Hayes so far? Cheney isn't just a hawk but a strong advocate for the "softer side of the Bush doctrine, advocacy of democracy." Also: "He's much more a normal person than his public persona." And maybe one reason that Cheney floundered at Yale: Pals told Hayes that he "pined" for his girlfriend Lynne, now Mrs. Cheney.
What, Me Worry? Not This President
A bloody war, bad polls, and his beloved Texas Rangers several games out of first, you'd think President Bush would be bummed out. But pals say he's as happy as ever. We checked in with those who attended last week's fundraiser for Virginia Sen. George Allen at the home of former Republican National Chairman Ed Gillespie. The prez gave an animated history of the Oval Office and told of how optimistic he is about the future. He spent time schmoozing and even beckoned neighborhood kids over for a picture. "He was cranked up," we're told, though he might have been euphoric because the following day he was flying to his parents' Maine home for a day of fishing.
'Tis the Season to Go With the Saints
Donald Powell has gone native. President Bush's man in charge of cleaning up the mess left by Hurricane Katrina says his nine months on the job has changed him forever. "This has been a defining moment in my life," says the likable Texan and former Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. head. "When I come up here [to Washington], I feel like I need to get back down there." Here's just a bit of proof that he's become NOLA's biggest fan: Powell plans to attend the reopening of the Superdome, home to so many terrible post-Katrina stories, for the Saints-Atlanta Falcons game on September 25. And he promises he'll be wearing a Saints jersey with QB Drew Brees's No. 9 on it. "You can write that on August 22 I predicted that the Saints will make the playoffs," says the federal coordinator of Gulf Coast rebuilding. "They'll be playing for more than just themselves."
With Anna Mulrine and Kenneth T. Walsh