Who’s on first?

Who’s on first?

George Bush has moved to distance himself from his vice-president after it was revealed that a sabre-rattling speech on Iraq by Dick Cheney was made without clearing key points with the White House.

In a clear sign of disarray at the top of the US administration it has emerged that Mr Cheney may have gone too far in a bellicose address last week in which he dismissed out of hand the usefulness of pushing for weapons inspectors to be allowed back into Iraq.

Hmmm, maybe.  Or maybe Cheney’s bellicose rant was a deliberate testing of the waters by the White House, which backfired.  So Cheney got to take the blame for it instead of Bush.

That disarray inside the Bush team was compounded by renewed reports in the US press last night that Colin Powell was planning to leave his job as secretary of state at the end of the president’s first term, potentially threatening Mr Bush’s re-election chances in 2004 by robbing him of a popular and moderate ally.

Reports that Powell no doubt leaked to the press himself.  Why a man of his sophistication and intelligence continues to run with this pack of willfully ignorant provincials is a question many (including Powell no doubt) are asking.