There is little question that President George W. Bush and Cheney still share the goal of expanding the power of the presidency. Legislation they have sent to Congress would essentially allow them to set the rules of evidence, define interrogation techniques and intercept domestic communications as they have for the past five years. But they have been stymied in their effort to simply assert those powers and carry them out with minimal oversight. On national security issues, Cheney remains a pivotal figure but now vies for influence with other powerful officials like Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Stephen Hadley, the national security adviser.
Over the past 18 months, Cheney appears to have reluctantly given ground on detention practices and, at least for now, on policy disputes involving Iran and North Korea.
Interviews with more than 45 people over the past five months - including current and former White House aides, foreign diplomats and members of Congress - painted a picture of a vice president who, while still influential, has seen his power wane.
Administration insiders said that he and his aides are now having to fight hard to maintain positions that just a few years ago he would have won handily.
Read the whole article at The New York Times (reg. req.)