He served as vice president from 2001 to 2009.
Considering that he was born in 1941, you may wonder if Dick Cheney is still alive.
Here’s what you need to know about Dick Cheney and the vice presidency.
Is Dick Cheney Still Alive?
Yes, Dick Cheney is still alive.
Following the end of George W. Bush’s presidency in 2009, Cheney more or less retired from public office.
He focused on his business ventures and supporting his children.
Despite suffering from several heart attacks throughout his life, including a few while acting as vice president, Cheney is alive today.
How Many Presidents Did Dick Cheney Serve?
Cheney got started in politics relatively early which allowed him to serve several presidents throughout his career.
In total, Cheney served four presidents.
The first president he served under was President Nixon.
As a fellow Republican, Cheney was part of the Cost of Living Council.
He was also part of the Office of Economic Opportunity.
When Nixon resigned from office following the Watergate scandal, President Ford took over.
Cheney served under him next.
He first worked as part of the transition team which was responsible for helping Ford transition into his new role as president.
He also helped transition the staff from Nixon’s way of governing to Ford’s.
Ford recognized Cheney’s efforts and gave him the role of Deputy Assistant to the President.
He’d eventually get promoted to assistant to the President.
He also ended up serving as Chief of Staff.
After the Ford administration left office, he returned to representing his state of Wyoming.
He was the sole representative of his state.
When George H. W. Bush became president, Cheney became the Secretary of Defense.
He helped direct Operation Just Cause and Desert Storm.
He also played a part in opening negotiations when the Cold War ended.
His most prominent role came when George W. Bush ran for president.
He chose Cheney as his running mate for vice president.
When Bush was elected, Cheney served as his vice president.
Where Did Dick Cheney Study?
Dick Cheney received his education at the University of Wyoming.
While he was born in Nebraska, his family moved to Wyoming where he grew up.
Cheney decided to attend college there.
He received his bachelor’s degree and his master’s degree at the University of Wyoming.
Both degrees were in political science, and he received them in 1965 and 1966.
What Are Cheney’s Political Views?
While Cheney served as a member of the House of Representatives for the state of Wyoming, he echoed many of the views that his fellow conservatives had at the time.
He believed in a conservative approach to the matter of abortion.
He also believed in the rights protected by the second amendment.
Gun control was something he did not advocate for.
He was also against environmental regulation.
His particular views on that topic came under scrutiny due to his involvement with a business that sold parts to oil and gas companies.
He was against the regulation of oil and gas companies.
Later on in his career, when his business just so happened to receive a hefty government contract after getting rid of certain oil businesses in Iraq, a few people found it to be more than a coincidence.
Regardless, Cheney was a conservative on the House floor and when he served under several presidents.
Who Are Dick Cheney’s Kids?
Dick Cheney has two children.
His firstborn daughter is Elizabeth Cheney.
Liz Cheney followed in her father’s footsteps and became a member of the House of Representatives.
She represented the state of Wyoming.
His other child is also a daughter named Mary Cheney.
Mary was pulled into the spotlight during a smear campaign against Liz for formerly supporting same-sex marriage.
Mary is gay and had just married her wife, Heather.
Liz Cheney supported them and reportedly made statements in support of same-sex marriage.
When ads started to run against Liz that claimed that she supported same-sex marriage, she clarified the issue by saying that she supported the traditional definition of marriage.
She believes that the matter of same-sex marriage should be up to the states instead.
The news prompted some tension between the sisters and unfortunately dragged them further into the public eye.
What Did Dick Cheney Do As Vice President?
Long ago, a vice president didn’t do much while in office.
They were primarily there to serve in the event that the president died.
In more recent times, vice presidents have been given more power so they can do certain things.
In the case of Dick Cheney, he played a rather important, if not controversial, role as vice president.
Following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the United States was looking for a reason to start a war with Iraq.
They couldn’t just start a war because the UN didn’t approve of it.
However, Cheney was able to find a cause.
He found intelligence reports that stated that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and shared them with the UN.
These claims swayed the UN and allowed the United States to enter into war with Iraq.
No weapons of mass destruction were ever discovered.
He also helped shape energy policies and foreign policies regarding the Middle East.
What Does A Vice President Do?
Early in American history, vice presidents didn’t have much of a role and were primarily there to serve if the current president died while in office.
They’d assume the presidency afterward.
However, until an amendment was passed that clarified the succession of the presidency, the vice president taking over if needed was nothing but an unofficial tradition.
Early on, those who formed the government knew that they needed a succession plan.
In a monarchy, an heir would take the throne and make the decisions.
Since the United States did not want to revert to serving a monarch, the founding fathers decided that there needed to be another position to act as the president’s pseudo heir.
For a long time, the person whom the elected president was running against would become the vice president.
They didn’t choose their vice president like they do today.
As such, the role of the vice president was quite diminished.
That has since changed.
Here are some of the duties that the vice president now has.
1. Breaks Ties In The Senate
In the rare event that the Senate has a tie vote, it’s the vice president who breaks the tie.
This is why during elections, filling seats with those who represent the president’s party becomes important.
Senators who have a president and vice president who are part of their party are likely going to vote in their favor.
However, if the president and vice president belong to the opposing party, then they’ll probably vote against them.
To ensure a tie doesn’t happen, senators campaign for votes just like the president does.
If one political party has a sizable majority over the other, then they’ll probably never have to worry about a tie vote and needing the vice president to break it.
That said, it isn’t always set in stone that a vice president will vote with their party.
They may have their own thoughts and beliefs about certain issues.
As such, they might choose to vote against their party on certain issues and decide to vote in favor of the other party.
In most cases, however, vice presidents tend to favor their own party.
One of the most important roles that a vice president performs is breaking ties in the Senate.
The vice president could technically change the course of history.
2. Presides Over Electoral Ballot Counting
Another important duty that the vice president has is to preside over the counting of the electoral ballots.
This is an important but often overlooked duty because it adds legitimacy to the entire democratic process.
Before President Trump took office, most people paid little attention to this part of democracy.
When Trump started to claim that he hadn’t lost the 2020 election and that the results weren’t accurate, there was a lot of pressure put on Vice President Pence.
There was an expectation for Pence not to oversee the counting of the ballots or to reject them entirely.
To do this would have stopped the peaceful transition of power that has existed in the United States since its founding.
Vice President Pence performed his duty and oversaw the counting of the ballots which resulted in Joe Biden’s win.
In the future, it’s possible that this particular duty of the vice president might be more interesting to the public than it was in the past.
In the modern age of politics, vice presidents have also taken on the role of advisors to their presidents.
This wasn’t always the case.
Since vice presidents were initially the president’s opponent, most presidents didn’t care to hear their views on certain matters.
They’d likely be opposite of the president’s goals.
There may have even been concerns of manipulation if the vice president was able to attend Cabinet meetings.
That changed when presidents started to choose their running mates instead of having the losing candidate join them as their vice president.
In modern times, this would be like Donald Trump becoming Joe Biden’s vice president.
In a time when bipartisanship is getting harder and harder to achieve, it makes sense that a president would choose their vice president.
In today’s politics, a vice president can have a lot of sway over a president.
It largely comes down to the president and vice president in question.
If the president isn’t sure of themself on certain issues or doesn’t have a lot of experience with a matter, then they might turn to their vice president for advice.
That’s especially true if the vice president is older and has more experience to rely on.
Over time, presidents have started to let their vice presidents sit in on Cabinet meetings.
They also have regular lunches or meetings.
Instead of simply acting as an heir or the president of the Senate, vice presidents now have the ear of their president.
This is why many voters now pay more attention to a president’s choice of vice president.
Not only is it important in the case of succession, but it also means that the individual has the potential to influence the president’s decisions.
4. Foreign Dignitary
Back in the day, the president was the one who would meet with certain dignitaries in other countries.
These days, that isn’t always the case.
Presidents are busy and can’t be everywhere at once.
If there’s a particular meeting that they can’t attend or one that isn’t very important, then they might send their vice president in their stead.
Vice presidents now play an important role in foreign affairs.
Instead, they’d have to stay in the White House while the president went off to meet with dignitaries.
If they came along, then they weren’t usually at the forefront of the talks since it was all handled by the president.
Now, vice presidents can meet with certain foreign dignitaries to discuss matters, form or renew alliances, and work out deals.
This shows a clear shift in the importance of the vice president.
They’re now responsible for handling what could be delicate diplomatic affairs.
While their attendance is usually ceremonial, it’s clear that vice presidents are becoming more powerful as their duties increase.
5. Special Committees Or Councils
Some presidents also place their vice presidents on special committees or councils.
For example, they might have their vice president serve on the National Security Council.
This gives the vice president a good amount of control over the department.
While they usually act in accordance with the president’s wishes, it does mean that they’re able to make a few decisions of their own, too.
Assigning the vice president to oversee committees and councils gives them more power and takes less important tasks off the president’s plate.
6. Succeed The President
A final duty of the vice president is to succeed the president in the event of their death.
There have been quite a few presidents who have died during office.
One of the most famous was Abraham Lincoln.
Following victory in the Civil War, an assassin killed him in a theater.
His vice president became president afterward.
John F. Kennedy was another famous president who was shot and killed during a parade.
His vice president took over for him.
The death of a president hasn’t been the sole reason that a vice president has succeeded him, however.
Richard Nixon, not wanting to go through an impeachment process, chose to resign from office following the Watergate scandal.
His vice president, Gerald Ford, took over as president.
No matter if a president dies, resigns, or leaves office in some other way, the vice president’s primary duty is to succeed them as president.
They then choose their Cabinet members and select who will fill other roles in the White House.
In most cases, the presidency should not change drastically since the vice president shares the same party and ideals as the former president.
However, they may have issues that they want to address that the former president didn’t address.
As the new president, they’ll also choose their vice president in the event that they should die, resign, or also lose the presidency.
Dick Cheney was the vice president of George W. Bush.
Prior to Bush, he had served under several other presidents as well as serving in the House of Representatives for the state of Wyoming.
As a vice president, he performed many duties—some of which were controversial.