Saturday, November 05, 2005 Chilling peek behind the scenes at the WH Bush's No.2 Cheney gives no quarter and plays for all the marbles (11/14/05): "Far from being chastened by recent setbacks, including the indictment of his chief of staff, Vice President Dick Cheney is thumbing his nose at his critics--and encouraging President Bush to do the same. 'Bush and Cheney are standing as one,' says a prominent Republican who regularly advises the White House. 'Their strategy is to get the conservative base solidified again, and Cheney is key because he is the administration's main link to the right.'

Cheney is described by White House insiders as combative and eager to rally the GOP faithful. As part of that effort, he will continue to ride the Republican fundraising circuit in advance of next year's midterm elections, as he did last Friday, headlining events in Cincinnati and Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Behind the scenes, Cheney is feeding Bush's instinct never to give ground when under attack, White House advisers say, despite rising concern among Republicans that the president doesn't realize the depth of his political trouble. With Bush's job-approval ratings at historic lows, 52 percent of Americans think the indictment of Cheney's former chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby reflects broader ethics problems in the administration, according to a Washington Post/ABC News Poll."


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