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Campaign finance - Essay Example

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Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney, forty-sixth vice president of the United States, has over three decades of experience in political service. Formerly a US representative and secretary of state, many saw Cheney as the ideal running mate for the relatively inexperienced George W…
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Download file to see previous pages Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney, forty-sixth vice president of the United States, has over three decades of experience in political service. Formerly a US representative and secretary of state, many saw Cheney as the ideal running mate for the relatively inexperienced George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential election.Cheney was born in Lincoln, Nebraska on January 30, 1941, the son of Marjorie and Richard H. Cheney. He was raised in Casper, Wyoming, where the elder Cheney worked as a soil conservationist for the Department of Agriculture.After graduating from a local high school, Cheney earned a scholarship and traveled east to attend Yale University in Connecticut. He dropped out of school during his second year, due to his poor academic performance, and returned to Wyoming. Cheney went to work for a brief time before returning to school, first at Casper College and later at the University of Wyoming. In 1964, he married his high-school sweetheart, Lynn Anne Vincent. Cheney finally graduated two years later with a master's degree in political science.After graduation, Cheney received an educational deferment to avoid military service during the Vietnam War. He enrolled in a doctoral program at the University of Wisconsin, and launched his long political career in 1968, when he went to Washington DC to work for Representative William Steiger (R-Wisconsin) as a congressional fellow. Cheney was soon recruited by Representative Donald Rumsfeld, the head of President Richard Nixon's Office of Economic Opportunity, to work as his assistant. (Carney 82)
Throughout the early 1970s, Cheney held a number of positions alongside Rumsfeld, who had become a mentor to the young political hopeful. He served as deputy White House counsel, assistant director of the Cost of Living Council, and deputy chief of staff for President Gerald Ford. To supplement his income, Cheney also served as vice president of investment group Bradley, Woods, & Co.
Cheney's biggest break came in 1975, when he replaced his mentor as White House chief of staff after Rumsfeld was appointed as secretary of defense. At the age of 34, Cheney was among the youngest men ever to hold this position, which he held until 1976. During this time, he earned a reputation as a prominent player in the Republican Party.

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Beginning in 1979, Cheney served six terms in the House of Representatives, as a representative from Wyoming. Before his election to the House, he suffered a heart attack, the first of three coronary episodes he would endure before the age of 50.
As chairman of the Republican House Policy Committee for most of his tenure, Cheney was known as a conservative, and voted strictly along party lines. When Republican Ronald Reagan became president in 1981, Cheney and his right-wing House colleagues were steadfast supporters of the new White House agenda. In addition to his vocal support for the "Star Wars" missile defense system, Cheney was in favor of military backing for the "Contra" rebels in Nicaragua, as well as for rebel fighters in Afghanistan and Angola. In the late 1980s, when he sat on the House Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Deals with Iran during the Iran-Contra scandal, Cheney defended the controversial actions of the Reagan administration and his fellow Republicans.
On the domestic issue front, Cheney was opposed to gun control and abortion and in favor of prayer in public schools. He voted against the Equal Rights Amendment and re-funding the Clean Water Act. As a result of his loyalty to the party, Cheney became minority whip, the second-most influential position in the House, in 1988. His wife, meanwhile, served as the chairperson of the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1986-1993.
Under Reagan's successor, George Bush, Cheney served as secretary of defense, and played a key role in directing the nation's military during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. The popular success of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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