Honey, I Lost the Ballot

The Sept. 8 Dallas Morning News reports that Dick Cheney failed to vote in 14 of 16 Dallas County, Texas, elections between 1995 and July 2000, when he was registered there. Among the elections he skipped was Texas’ Republican presidential primary this past March, when he could have voted for … George W. Bush! Cheney switched his registration to Wyoming in July, shortly before being named Bush’s running mate and was able to vote (presumably for Dubya) in the Wyoming primary. Whew!

The Morning News account leaves out a key detail that makes Cheney’s failure to vote in the Texas primary look even more peculiar: Cheney, though not yet Bush’s running mate, was already an adviser to Bush’s campaign! Not, mind you, someone who would occasionally pass along good wishes when they bumped into each other at the Petroleum Club, but someone who briefed Bush on a regular basis. A Dec. 23, 1999, New York Times article by Eric Schmitt identified Cheney as one of “two unofficial senior advisers” for Dubya on foreign policy (the other was George Shultz). This was a full three months before Cheney didn’t vote for him in the Texas primary! Cheney was already “in the mix” for the veepstakes in October, according to an anonymous Bush associate quoted at the time in U.S. News & World Report’s “Washington Whispers” column. And in September, Cheney had helped draft a speech Bush gave urging more military spending.

In Cheney’s defense, Chatterbox must acknowledge that Gov. Bush had a lock on the Texas primary. Still, Chatterbox can’t imagine Dubya was pleased to hear the news. For Cheney, neglecting to vote for Bush in the Texas primary isn’t like forgetting his college roommate’s birthday. It’s like forgetting his fiancee’s birthday!  It also raises the intriguing question: Will Karl Rove, Karen Hughes, Joe Allbaugh, Ari Fleischer, Condoleezza Rice, Mark McKinnon, Mike Gerson, and the rest of the campaign gang in Austin all remember to vote for their boss come election day?