WASHINGTON – President Bush said Monday he sure is glad Vice President Dick Cheney is not going to be campaigning to replace him.
It was no knock against Cheney's leadership skills, Bush said, but a practical consideration about making his last years in office run smoothly. Having the No. 2 angling to be No. 1 "certainly changes the dynamics inside the White House," the president said.
"I'm not through yet, you know," Bush said to a questioner who asked whom he would support in the 2008 race. Bush said he still wanted to reduce dependence on oil from the Middle East, get a bipartisan solution to the problem of funding Social Security and Medicare and create a legal status for immigrants who want to work in the United States.
"I am going to spend two-and-a-half years charging as hard as I possibly can," Bush said. "I want to sprint out of office. And I will be an interested observer, and I'm sure I'll be roped into moments after our party nominates a candidate, but I'm just going to let the politics run its course."
Bush said the race will be "an amazing moment" with wide open primaries in both major parties and no sitting vice president or president in the race.
"I guess it's the most wide-open race ever," Bush said, then corrected himself. "Oh, it can't be ever. Ever is too long. But in a long time."