Faithless Elector Watch: Was Cheney Naughty in ’76?

Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.
Dec. 14 2000 7:22 PM

Faithless Elector Watch: Was Cheney Naughty in ’76?

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The obvious question, of course, is whether Cheney (and for that matter, Baker, who was Bush's recount scold) participated in the Ford campaign's Wild Night of Naughtiness. It seems to Chatterbox both would have had to have done so. Dole, after all, wasn't some low-level functionary on the Ford campaign; he was the vice-presidential candidate. What he knew, the guys in charge surely knew. Alas, Chatterbox can't quite prove it. Doug Bailey, who did ads for the Ford campaign, told Chatterbox,

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I remember thinking, and a number of us thinking, somehow hoping to, and then being embarrassed by the fact that we had had the thought, to hope that somehow a couple of states which weren't going quite right ... hoping to turn out with the outcome of the popular vote going Carter's way but nonetheless we were gonna win it. I remember having those thoughts.

But Bailey emphasized that he was contemplating a recount strategy, not an elector-flipping strategy:

I don't remember a sit-down discussion or a serious discussion of any kind with anybody about going elector-shopping. ... But I'm not sure I would have been in on any such discussion.

Chatterbox has placed calls to Baker, Dole (who may be slightly embarrassed now about the incident, in view of his Nov. 17 New York Times op-ed urging Gore to concede), and a few other Ford campaign aides, and will pass along additional information when he has it. Meanwhile, any comments from the vice president-elect on the topic would be welcome.