At Explananda Chris asks, Is Dick Cheney really so powerful?:
Up until a week ago it was an article of faith for me that Dick Cheney was a powerful figure in the Bush administration: fearless and tough. I have to confess that I've been feeling pretty foolish about that recently. I mean, if Dick Cheney is so powerful and tough, then why is he afraid to appear before the Sept. 11th Commission without George W. Bush? What – does he need the President to hold his hand or something?
Frankly, this is embarrassing for all of us who have spent the last few years trafficking recklessly in conspiracy theories about the man.
See also this Luckovich cartoon on joint POTUS-Veep appearances.