Lawrence Wilkerson, top aide and later chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, said that as a new president, Bush was like Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee whom critics said lacked knowledge about foreign affairs. When Bush first came into office, he was surrounded by experienced advisers like Vice President Dick Cheney and Powell, who Wilkerson said ended up playing damage control for the president.Some of us knew this from the start. We [speaking collectively here] were ridiculed: liberals, out of touch elites looking down our noses at the 'plain spoken, man of the people' and his 'common sense' approach which we, as out of touch elites, could never grasp. Turns out we were dead on the money. Too bad these people who knew what was going on from the start waited till now to share their insight with us. Fat lot of good it does.
"It allowed everybody to believe that this Sarah Palin-like president _ because, let's face it, that's what he was _ was going to be protected by this national-security elite, tested in the cauldrons of fire," Wilkerson said, adding that he considered Cheney probably the "most astute, bureaucratic entrepreneur" he'd ever met.
"He became vice president well before George Bush picked him," Wilkerson said of Cheney. "And he began to manipulate things from that point on, knowing that he was going to be able to convince this guy to pick him, knowing that he was then going to be able to wade into the vacuums that existed around George Bush _ personality vacuum, character vacuum, details vacuum, experience vacuum."
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