Monday, January 19, 2004

Dick Cheney And Ending Careers
As Bush's Cabinet recruiter, Cheney brought O'Neill into the Bush administration. Cheney and O'Neill had known each other since they worked together in the Ford administration. Cheney fired O'Neill in December 2002 after the Treasury secretary objected to Bush's tax cuts and made several embarrassing public remarks.

"I was a big advocate of his, without question, and it's turned out to be a big disappointment," Cheney said. "We were friends. It's one of those things that happens periodically — you put a round peg in a square hole, and it didn't work."

Cheney said he thought O'Neill would do a good job because of his experience as deputy budget director under President Ford and his success as CEO of Alcoa.

"Why it failed? I don't know. I don't want to get into that," Cheney said. "Paul has had his say. I disagree with his analysis, obviously. But he's had his day. I feel badly for him, to some extent, that he has ended his career on this note. That's his choice."