For a guy who was known to let fly pretty much with any thought that crossed his mind, former Gov. Frank Keating sure took a while to get around to letting us know how things went down when he was on the short list to be Bush's veep.
But that's what he's done in a recent book, according to the Tulsa World. That book, "Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency," by Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman, details the inner workings of Cheney's ascension in politics.
Seems that the former gov. is making up for lost time. According to the story, Keating blames a leak " that he accepted cash gifts from a retired New York financier " on the shadow president himself, Cheney.
For those unfamiliar with the story, Keating was widely rumored to be our next vice president back when then-Texas-Gov. George W. Bush was just stepping out on the yellow brick road to the White House. Bush came here and hung out with Keating and the whole nine yards. The two got along famously.
But as things progressed, suddenly a story surfaced that Keating had accepted $250,000 from wealthy New Yorker Jack Dreyfus.
The information was leaked to Newsweek, according to the World. Although Keating said the gifts were above board, and he later returned the money, the damage was done. He was cut from the list. Imagine what might have been different if Frank Keating were at the president's right hand than the one we ended up with.
Keating was his usual demure self when discussing the matter in the book.
"It obviously came from Dick Cheney or one of his people," Keating said in the book. "To say that it was chickenshit, excuse the expression, is an understatement."
Yep, that's our former Gov. Frank Keating, all right. He went on:
"It was gratuitous, and it was petty, and it appeared vindictive to me, and it was utterly beneath the dignity of a person of Cheney's achievement. I mean, Dick Cheney coming into my life has been like a black cloud."
At CFN, we believe the black cloud part, anyway. But is anything really beneath the Dark One's dignity?
Well, Cheney denies it, according to the World.
"The vetting process was pursuant to the president's instructions," said Cheney spokeswoman Lea Anne Foster. "It was tightly held and to the best of our knowledge, there were no leaks out of it."
Oh, sure. Got right on that, didn't he? Why, we at CFN bet the Cheney-run vetting process wouldn't have ever burned a guy from Oklahoma. Look at how well they kept secret the identity of that CIA agent, Valerie Plame. Yeah, Dick wouldn't have done that to Frank, right?
Meanwhile, the Dark One has emerged from his undisclosed location to champion President Bush's $700 billion bailout. Fills us with confidence.