Sane and rational individuals can reasonably be expected to purchase homes where their family roots lie. Sane and rational executives, both in and out of government, can reasonably be expected to purchase homes where their professional careers take them.
Early on, Richard Cheney adhered to such commonsense expressions of sanity. He lived in Washington while serving as White House Chief of Staff and then campaign manager for Jerry Ford.
After playing a pivotal role in Ford's 1976 election defeat, Cheney moved to Wyoming, a bastion of Republicanism. Months later, at a football game, the state's only Representative to Congress casually announced he would not stand for reelection. Cheney was elected to the seat in 1978.
Cheney still maintains a residence in Wyoming, at 4205 West Greens Place in The Greens of Teton Pines, in Teton County. Nothing startling about that.
In September 2005 after being again elected as Vice President, Cheney purchased a waterfront "summer home" for $2,667,500 at 7879 Fuller Road SW in Saint Michaels, Maryland, zip code 21663-2545. A comfy, 3,343 square foot summer home, with white painted brick exterior, a five-car garage, a swimming pool and formal gardens, built in 1930 on 9 acres, with frontage on the east shore of Chesapeake Bay.
This home is located roughly two miles from the residence of Cheney's long-time friend Donald Rumsfeld. Church Neck Road dead-ends at Fuller Road, which is privately owned. Cheney's home, named Ballintober, is about one-quarter mile along Fuller, past four other houses.
Nothing remarkable about the Vice-President wanting to spend week-ends away from the home built in 1893 for the Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Observatory.
Purchase of the Fuller Road property was made by Sumner LLC, a privately held limited liability corporation managed by Debbie Heiden, executive assistant and personal secretary to the Vice President. Given Cheney's penchant for privacy, this also is not remarkable.
What is remarkable is the timing of Cheney's earlier purchase of a residence in Washington.
After serving as Secretary of Defense through January 1993, Cheney joined the American Enterprise Institute, a right-wing think tank. In October 1995 Cheney became Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Halliburton. Cheney quickly moved to Dallas, corporate headquarters. Nothing remarkable about that either.
A life-long pol, in 2000 Cheney gravitated to George Bush's presidential campaign. He maneuvered to be placed in charge of the vice-presidential selection committee. Several months later, Cheney selected himself. On July 25, 2000, George Bush invited Richard Cheney to be Vice President in his administration.
Which brings us to a remarkable coincidence of timing.
Over six months earlier, on January 12, Cheney spent $1,350,000 to purchase a home at 1126 Chain Bridge Road in Fairfax County, Virginia, across the Potomac from Washington DC.
But not to live in or to entertain guests, either on behalf of Halliburton or otherwise. Soon after the purchase, Cheney had the existing home razed. The lot remained vacant for years.
This raises a logical question:
When did Richard Cheney know, with confidence sufficient to justify purchase and demolition of a $1,350,000 residence, that George Bush would be elected and that Cheney would be selected to play an important role in the administration and need to move to Washington?