Cheney's odds shorten as rival rules out standing with Bush

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The Independent US

Odds that Dick Cheney, former defence secretary, will be named George W Bush's running-mate in the presidential election shortened yesterday when another front-runner ruled himself out and plumped for Mr Cheney.

Odds that Dick Cheney, former defence secretary, will be named George W Bush's running-mate in the presidential election shortened yesterday when another front-runner ruled himself out and plumped for Mr Cheney.

John Danforth of Missouri, a former senator, said he would prefer to remain in his home state and did not expect to be asked. Speculation about him rose on Saturday when it was rumoured he was one of six Republicans asked to leave weekend numbers with the Bush team. Others were thought to include Mr Bush's rival for the Republican nomination, John McCain.

Yesterday Mr Danforth said he had "a pretty good guess; I think it's Cheney", citing his trip to his home state of Wyoming on Friday to change his voter registration. Mr Cheney was registered in Texas, where he lives and works but the constitution does not allow a president and vice-president to come from the same state.

Mr Bush's his communications director, Karen Hughes, said that the decision had not been made. Mr Bush's chief strategist, Karl Rove, indicated Mr Bush favoured someone with Washington experience.

As a former White House chief of staff, defence secretary and congressman, Mr Cheney would fit the bill, and his foreign-policy experience would fill another of Mr Bush's perceived gaps.

Some pundits, however, saw Mr Cheney's trip to Wyoming as a ploy to deflect attention from the revived talk about Mr McCain.

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