Cheney Told Bush About His Gay Daughter To Test Future President’s ‘Tolerance’

The reason Dick Cheney disclosed his big lesbian daughter to George w. Bush before the future president chose the oil executive as his running mate was not to head off any potential GOP backlash, Bush writes in Decision Points, but because Cheney wanted to see if Bush would be a compassionate conservative.

The president dresses up history in his book like so:

By the time Dick came to the ranch to deliver his final report, I had decided to make another run at him. As he finished his briefing, I said, “Dick, you are the perfect running mate.”

While I had dropped hints before, he could tell I was serious this time. Finally, he said, “I need to talk to Lynne.” I took that as a promising sign. He told me that he had had three heart attacks and that he and Lynne were happy with their life in Dallas. Then he said, “Mary is gay.” I could tell what he meant by the way he said it. Dick clearly loved his daughter. I felt he was gauging my tolerance. “If you have a problem with this, I’m not your man,” he was essentially saying.

I smiled at him and said, “Dick, take your time. Please talk to Lynne. And I could not care less about Mary’s orientation.”

As Salon‘s Justin Elliot notes, this wouldn’tbe the first time gayness was a role in a presidential candidate picking a VP: Ronald Reagan looked past the late Jack Kemp because of all those gay rumors. But it must certainly comfort America’s conservative gays to hear the former president didn’t care about his soon-to-be VP’s daughter’s sexuality. Or at least he didn’t let it get in the way of using gay rights to get elected.

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  • Andrew

    There is something wrong with the picture when Dick Cheney is a bigger defender of my rights than our current President.

  • the crustybastard

    Is there some rule that out-of-office politicians must do the whole “I’m totally down with teh gheys” thing?

    If you didn’t have the spine to say so when it mattered, have some shame and shut the fuck up.


  • Ethan

    @Andrew…sadly enough Dick Chaney has always been a bigger supporter of Gay Rights than Obama….

  • JustWatching

    Crusty : What does “teh gheys” mean? Obviously “the gays” but I see that spelled that way sometimes, and I’m honestly curious because I have no clue.

  • Wyatt

    @Just Watching –

    It’s meant to convey a sense of hyperbole and immaturity. It’s sort of the way you’d see a 13 kid on IRC spelling it, and it makes it seem like a joke that can’t be taken seriously.


    “oh Lawd teh Gheys r rooening ‘merica. Palin 4 prez 2012 plox!!!!1!”


    “My god, the gays are ruining America. I support Palin for president in 2012.”

  • JustWatching

    Thanks, Wyatt. I really didn’t know about that.

  • JustWatching

    Isn’t that kind of racist, though ? Believe me, I’m not so p.c. that I won’t admit there’s a big homophobia thing going on amongst African-Americans, but even the homophobic ones don’t ALL speak like that.

  • reason

    The only things Cheney’s is supportive of are things that support his agenda. He sent thousands of Americans to their deaths while reaping profits from Halliburton why he was in office. Also after passing the massive tax cuts with borrowed money and reducing the death tax, he is going to need someone to pass all that wealth on to. Bush is saying that he was compassionate enough to let someone with a gay relative work for him. Whoa, that is earth shattering! What are the non compassionate conservatives doing? Demanding that one kills all of their gay relatives before applying?

  • Jeffree

    I love GDub’s quote re: Mary Cheney–
    I could not care less about Mary’s orientation.

    Couple issues with that: It’s hard for me to believe GWB actually used the word “orientation”. “Preference,” maybe, but it’s so unexpectely politically correct….from someone who wasn’t PC and who could NOT have cared less about lesbians and gays.

    Cheney saw Mary’s “out” status as a political liability for the ticket–not to mention his cardiac issues.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t think he was a “friend” to the LGBs or supportive of our rights. No one expected him to be one, whereas Obama sure talked a good game, made promises, and hasn’t delivered much!

    It’s like comparing cardboard and wood as a potential food source!

  • dvd


    If he was a big supporter, he’d be an advocate to his party to repeal DADT and pass equal marriage rights. Yet beyond the personal support, he’s quiet and cowardly.

    Not that Obama has done all he should have, but I’ve never heard Cheney stand behind a microphone and speak in favor of gay issues to the country. I’ve never heard the words Gay/Lesbian pass thru his lips in a public forum.

  • the crustybastard


    Settle down. It’s not racist. It’s being fat-fingered while ignert. Gamerspeak.


  • peteNsfo

    So Bush II wants to rewrite history so that we’re supposed to believe he’s a compassionate conservative- whateva…

    Bottom line (no pun, boys) they screwed us and used us whatever way they could to get what they wanted. Don’t believe a shred of this-

  • whatever

    Cheney should be rotting in the Hague right now. I couldn’t care less how much he loves his lesbo daughter.

  • slobone

    I’ve said it before — I never thought Bush was personally homophobic. Remember the culture he grew up in: upper class New England WASP (I hope nobody was fooled by the Texas hick accent he cultivated). These people are perfectly comfortable with gays — there’s usually at least one “extra man” at every dinner party, and my dear, they’re SO amusing. Plus who else is going to escort the wives to the opera?

    Here’s a story from the Boston Globe:

    WASHINGTON — It’s a time-worn president’s trick: walk up to a congressman chatting on the phone and send your regards to the astonished person on the other end of the line, charming the listener with your regular-guy credentials.

    That’s what President Bush did Monday night at the State of the Union address, when he approached Newton Democrat Barney Frank, who was talking on his cell phone in the House Speaker’s lobby before Bush’s speech.

    What Bush didn’t know was that the congressman was talking to his boyfriend.

    “Tell him I said, ‘Hello,’ ” Bush said to Frank, leaning in to pat the congressman’s shoulder. As Bush continued into the House chamber, Frank told his skeptical boyfriend that it had been the conservative Republican president sending his good wishes. Frank’s boyfriend didn’t believe him, so the Massachusetts lawmaker put one of the sergeants-at-arms on the phone to back up his story.

    After the speech, Frank said, he felt he had to tell Bush what he had done. After all, the president opposes gay marriage, and gay rights groups do not see the president as an ally.

    Frank sought out the president, who put his hand on the back of the congressman’s head to hear him more clearly in the noisy, crowded room.

    “Mr. President, by the way, the person I was talking to when you said to say hello was my boyfriend,” Frank said he told the commander-in-chief.

    “Well. I hope you said how open-minded I am,” Frank said the president replied.

    “I considered telling [the president] I wouldn’t marry him,” Frank said, “but then I thought, ‘Nah.’ ”


  • tjr101

    Dick Cheney isn’t pro-gay, he’s pro-Mary Cheney who happens to be gay. The guy doesn’t give a rats ass about gay rights. Gay conservatives need to get a hold of themselves and stop drooling over this douche.

  • Jeffree

    I’m still not convinced even MARY Cheney is all that pro-LGB rights !

  • B

    No. 1 · Andrew wrote, “There is something wrong with the picture when Dick Cheney is a bigger defender of my rights than our current President.”

    What’s wrong with the picture is that Cheney didn’t seem to care one bit when Bush supported an anti-gay constitutional amendment to help fire up the wingnut vote.

  • Bareback Hussein Osama

    I am your fiercestest advocate! Keep sending me your donations! LOL

  • bobito

    And once again, it all boils down to this: if you’re rich enough, you’re cool with GWB. If your money comes from drug running, or scamming the people who worked for you out of their retirement funds, no problem – why, you could even have dark skin or be homosexual, and it wouldn’t bother him at all. Long as you’re rolling in Benjamins, you’re his kind of people.

  • JustWatching

    Bobito : I suspect that too about GWB. Condie Rice is practically a member of his family. Supposedly he and the Obamas got along great too when they were handing over the White House. The elder Bush is good buds with Clinton. Some wealthy people are only really comfortable with other wealthy people.

  • Chitown Kev


    Agreed. That’s always the vibe that I’ve gotten from the Shrub.


    I always thought that Kanye had it somewhat wrong. I don’t think that Bush dislikes black people at all, I think he doesn’t like poor people.

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