There was never doubt that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican’s hard-line defender of the faith, would have a strong hand in selecting the next pope. But in the days of prayer and politics before the conclave, which begins on Monday, he has emerged as perhaps the surprise central figure.
Does this sound at all similar to some descriptions of our man Dick?
NYDN, July 2000:
A fiercely partisan, hard-line conservative, he soon became head of the Republican Policy Committee and then minority whip.
Georgie Boy, July 25, 2000
Throughout the vice presidential selection process, my foremost goal has been to select an outstanding individual who is capable of serving as president of the United States. I wanted the selection process to be thorough and dignified. I reached out to a distinguished and experienced statesman to lead the search. For months, we worked closely together to review the qualifications of many impressive candidates. As we worked to evaluate the strengths of others, I saw firsthand Dick Cheney's outstanding judgment. As we considered many different credentials, I benefited from his keen insight. I was impressed by the thoughtful and thorough way he approached his mission. And gradually I realized that the person who was best qualified to be my vice presidential nominee was working by my side.
I'm not saying there's any connection but it suddenly explains all the Latin I keep seeing in Project for the New American Century documents...