I believe you are looking at the next Vice President of the United States.
Throughout this vice presidential selection process, my foremost goal has been to select an outstanding individual who is capable of serving as President of the United States.
I wanted the selection process to be thorough and dignified. I reached out to a distinguished and experienced statesman to lead the search. For months, we worked closely together to review the qualifications of many impressive candidates.
As we worked to evaluate the strengths of others, I saw firsthand Dick Cheney’s outstanding judgment. As we considered many different credentials, I benefited from his keen insight.
I was impressed by the thoughtful and thorough way he approached his mission. And gradually, I realized that the person who was best qualified to be my vice presidential nominee was working by my side.
Before I asked Dick Cheney to chair the selection process, I had asked whether he would consider being a candidate himself. At the time, he said no. He had a challenging and demanding job leading a worldwide company; he was enjoying life in the private sector. But I kept the thought of him joining me in the back of my mind.
When Secretary Cheney visited me in Crawford over the July 4th weekend, we reviewed many different candidates, all of whom are impressive. But I continued to believe the best candidate might be sitting next to me. I asked him again whether he would be willing to join me to accomplish some great goals for our country: to save and strengthen social security, to improve medicare and provide prescription drug benefits to seniors, to reform our public schools and to rebuild our military. This time he said he was willing to talk with his family and consider it.
Early this morning, I called and asked him to join me in renewing America’s purpose, together. So I am proud to announce that Dick Cheney, a man of great integrity and judgment and experience, is my choice to be the next Vice President of the United States. I can’t wait for the delegates at our convention next week to hear from Dick Cheney and I will ask them to confirm this good man as our party’s choice for Vice-President.
The fact that this outstanding man is willing to serve speaks to the power of our compassionate conservative message and its promise for our country.
I have to admit: I didn’t pick Dick Cheney because of Wyoming’s three electoral votes – although we want and will work hard to earn them. I picked him because he is without a doubt fully capable of being President of the United States and he will be a valuable partner in a Bush administration.
Dick Cheney has served our country as chief of staff to a President, served in the United States Congress and as Secretary of Defense. He is a man of integrity who is respected by Republicans and Democrats alike. Even my opponent, Vice President Gore, once said Dick Cheney is a good man who is well liked and respected by his colleagues. I am proud to call him my friend, and honored to call him my running mate.
I also want to welcome Lynne Cheney. She is woman of many accomplishments. She served as chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities and she is a leader in developing high standards and sound curriculum for public schools. She is an important member of our team.
Laura and I are delighted to have Dick and Lynne by our side. And we look forward to winning and working for a better America.