Woodward Predicts Cheney vs. Clinton in 2008

In an interesting speech to the Aspen Instiute last night, Bob Woodward predicted that Dick Cheney and Hillary Clinton would face each other in the 2008 presidential election.

Woodward offers insight on Bush, Nixon, politics (Aspen Times)

Noted journalist Bob Woodward offered his insights on topics ranging from Nixon to Bush, current political issues and the role of journalism during a speech to an overflow crowd at Paepcke Auditorium on Tuesday night.


Interviewing President George W. Bush for his book “Plan of Attack” was “not typical,” said Woodward, who is assistant managing editor at the Washington Post. Answering 500 questions, the president was very direct and used weighty words like “duty” and “zeal” to describe “liberating people.” Woodward spoke of Bush’s intense belief that what he is doing is right and how overcoming obstacles made him even more determined. “It was almost a mind trip on how he looks at things and what he values,” Woodward said. Woodward refrained from ultimately judging Bush, noting that, “If you go back into history you’ll find many instances of presidents making unpopular decisions. History teaches you that the most important trait a president can have is simply courage, and courage often means walking the road alone.”

Of Nixon’s presidency, Woodward said, “The real chill goes down your spine when you see the smallness of Richard Nixon. Too often [he used] the power of the presidency to settle a score.” Nevertheless, Nixon was a very intelligent president, Woodward said. “He understood that the hating is what had done him in.” Woodward quoted the president’s farewell speech to his staff, in which he told them, “Always remember others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.”

Woodward’s half-hour talk, punctuated several times by well-received jokes, was followed by 11 questions from the audience. He theorized that Hillary Clinton would earn the Democratic nomination in 2008 and would run against Dick Cheney, and he rejected the likelihood of a third party being a threat to Democrats and Republicans.

Interesting insights from someone who has had rare access to a long line of presidents and other powerful figures.

I don’t know what Woodward’s record as a prognosticator is but I have a hard time picturing Dick Cheney putting up with the grief of a presidential run. While he might like to be president and would, in my judgment, make a pretty good one, his health issues and the spectre of constant cries of “Halliburton” are likely enough to have him retiring to Wyoming when his run as vice president is over.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. McGehee says:

    Yeah — even now when I see him on TV it’s almost as if he has a sticker on his forehead that reads, “I’d rather be fishing.”

    Then again, Eisenhower spent most of his presidency on the golf course…