Bush Presidency without Cheney?

Cheney was central to a lot of things in Bush's Presidency - IIRC, he led the transition team and basically hand picked the cabinet.

Without him in the picture, Bush likely appoints more personal friends, cronies and family associates to his cabinet.
Ah, so Bush will not be a puppet then?
Ah, so Bush will not be a puppet then?
It's not that Bush was a puppet, but rather Cheney (being an expert in how DC Bureaucracy works) had a tremendous influence in putting people in various cabinet posts and top executive positions. The President wasn't being puppeted - he was just largely surrounded by people who were in line with (and often loyal to) Dick Cheney. On a sub-cabinet level, Cheney filled up all the spots.

Cheney might still have influence on the transition team, but that's not the same as being VP with a whole bunch of loyalists to the VP in the cabinet.

Cheney not filling up the Office of Legal Counsel with people who thought the President had no responsibility to inform the public, the courts, or Congress about internal Executive Branch matters would be significant. A lot of the stuff about a rogue Presidency violating civil liberties and ignoring the other branches that tainted the Bush Administration would be avoided if that's the case.

I can see Tom Ridge being Defense Secretary instead of Donald Rumsfeld. Before picking Rumsfeld, Bush's top picks were Dan Coats and Tom Ridge - and I think Ridge (who got a cabinet spot OTL whereas Coats just got an ambassadorship) would get the nod. Wolfowitz was already a Bush adviser before Cheney got the VP nod, so he'd still be around.

George Bush considered replacing Cheney with Frist going into 2004. John Danforth is the most likely VP in 2000 if it isn't Cheney though.
Danforth is an interesting pick because you might see him pushing to have Clarence Thomas replace Rehnquist in 2005, with Roberts filling that vacancy instead.

Cheney played a big part in the Bush Tax cuts. Without Cheney you might see a smaller tax cut with more bipartisan support.
Cheney also got W to be less environmentalist. Recall that in Texas, Governor Bush played a big part in making the state a renewable energy leader and W was for a Carbon Tax in 2000.
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I guess someone needs to quote FDR’s first VP that the job ain’t worth “a warm bucket of piss.”

although the quote was cleaned for the newspapers as “not worth a bucket of warm spit.”

Bush, Sr. had a minimal role in the Reagan administration.​

Dan Quayle had a minimal role in the Bush administration​

And regarding Al Gore, although Clinton liked late-night conversations with him at the beginning of the campaign (and Al was not a night person!), I’d still question how big a role did Al really have during the 8-year administration.​