Dick Cheney once considered the vice presidency a "cruddy job" but got over his misgivings and went on to be arguably the most powerful No. 2 in U.S. politics, and one of the most heavily criticized.
The 66-year-old Cheney's stoic, no-nonsense demeanor and influence in many White House decisions are in stark contrast to his youthful days when he was caught twice for drunk driving in Wyoming and dropped out of Yale University for bad grades.
Cheney's life has been chronicled in a fairly sympathetic biography by Stephen Hayes, a writer for The Weekly Standard conservative magazine. He spent nearly 30 hours in one-on-one interviews with the normally reticent Cheney for the book.
In his research Hayes found that Cheney in 1996 called the vice presidency a "cruddy job," which his political mentor, President Gerald Ford, had hated. But by 2000 Cheney was persuaded to accept when George W. Bush offered the position. Read more...