Dec. 19 (Wednesday)

The 46th U.S. Vice President
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 Richard Bruce Cheney
Full Name: Richard Bruce Cheney
Born: Jan. 30, 1941 in Lincoln, Nebraska

Dick Cheney is a Republican politician who served two terms as Vice President of the United States under President George W. Bush (2001-09). He is often cited as the most powerful Vice President in American history, and he may also be the most hated. Some historians have rated George W. Bush the worst U.S. President ever, and Cheney was even more unpopular.

After flunking out of Yale University twice, Cheney earned a degree in political science at the University of Wyoming, Cheney applied for several deferments that kept him out of the war in Vietnam, earning him derision as a “chickenhawk.” Cheney worked his way into the Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford administrations, then served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Wyoming, followed by a stint as Secretary of Defense under President George H. W. Bush. After leaving office, Cheney served as chairman and CEO of Halliburton Company (1995-2000) until he became Vice President.

Many people regarded George W. Bush as nothing more than a puppet for Cheney. During the 9/11 terrorist attacks, George W. Bush fled to Nebraska. In the absence of a commander in chief (Bush), the Vice President should have taken charge of the military. However, Cheney was also in hiding at an undisclosed location. Cheney was also widely criticized for his support of the invasion of Iraq, a war that generated billions of dollars for Haliburton, which was in turn condemned for its lack of transparency and a series of corruption charges. Cheney countered that there was no conflict of interest as he had resigned from Haliburton. However, Cheney was named in a December 2010 corruption complaint filed by the Nigerian government against Halliburton, which the company settled for $250 million.

In 2013, Dick Cheney’s daughter Liz announced her candidacy for U.S. Senate.