Bush’s Heart Attack

The New York Times, March 26, 2001

In a surprising display of bipartisanship, the Senate today passed President Bush’s tax-cut  plan without a single change. Five Democratic senators joined all 50 Republicans in backing the plan after they received personal calls from President Bush requesting their support, “for Dick’s sake.”According to Sen. Edward Kennedy, one of the Democrats who voted for the plan, “The president begged for our help as Americans, not Democrats. He said he didn’t think Dick’s heart could take having to cast a tiebreaking vote.” Cheney, who is recovering from his second heart attack this week, could not be reached for comment …

The Washington Post, April 8, 2001

Russia is withdrawing its troops from the breakaway province of Chechnya after an unprecedented intervention by Secretary of State Colin Powell. According to State Department sources, Gen. Powell met with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week and told him simply that “the vice president feels the Chechens plight in his heart.” The Russian president reportedly was so alarmed at the prospect of a Bush presidency that he ordered an immediate ceasefire. Vice President Cheney, who recently suffered his eighth heart attack of the year, could not be reached for comment, though a spokesman reassured reporters that the vice president was “working at home.”

The Drudge Report, May 18, 2001

“Drudge Report Exclusive: Cheney’s Ticker Spikes Journal story!!!”
The Wall Street Journal has killed a story critical of President Bush’s “faith-based” social welfare programs following a call from the president himself, the Drudge Report has learned. According to highly placed sources in the White House and the Journal, President Bush made a late-night telephone call on Sunday to top editors. Sources say that the president told them, “Dick’s ticker is getting weaker every day. A story like this would hit him right in the heart. It would kill him. For the sake of the country, let this one go.” The vice president, who was rushed to the hospital for his third heart attack this week earlier today, had no comment.

Time, July 23, 2001

It was an extraordinary scene: The vice president, just two days out of open-heart surgery, was wheeled on a gurney to the Senate floor to beg confirmation for the president’s controversial supreme court nominee, Judge Kenneth Starr. Cheney, who couldn’t speak, scrawled on a pad that “I will lose my will to live if you don’t vote for Starr.” Three Democrats, calling it their “patriotic duty,” immediately announced that they would cast votes for Starr, ensuring his confirmation …

The New York Times, Dec. 16, 2001

President Bush today threatened “to unplug Dick from the respirator” if House Democrats don’t go along with his plan to privatize Social Security and Medicare …