Dick Cheney thinks the sun of history is beginning to shine on his former boss.
Speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony for the George W. Bush presidential center in Dallas, Cheney said that “history is beginning to come around” to a rosier view of Bush’s presidency.
Cheney asserted that history’s view of Bush is colored by the passage of time and that “judgments [become] a little more measured.”
Americans “can tell a decent, goodhearted stand up guy when they see him,” he added.
Bush, he said, didn’t “put on airs” and could “walk with kings, yet keep the common touch.”
The comments were highlighted Tuesday afternoon by CBS News. CBS also noted that Bush’s approval rating on leaving office was 22 percent.
Cheney’s approval rating, meanwhile, was 13 percent.
Cheney also took time off from his paean to Bush to attack President Barack Obama.
Cheney, who (unlike Mr. Bush) has been a vocal critic of President Obama, also took a shot at the current administration.
Speaking of his expectation that construction would move quickly on the presidential center following the groundbreaking, Cheney quipped that “this may be the only shovel ready project in America.” The reference was to the Obama-supported stimulus package that Republicans have criticized as ineffective.
Mr. Bush, dressed in a suit affixed with an American flag pin and a blue tie, followed Cheney to the podium. The former president said Cheney had been “the right pick” for vice president in 2000 and told an enthusiastic audience that he is “proud to call him friend.” (In his book, Mr. Bush writes that he considered replacing Cheney in 2004.)