Geode asks a perfectly resonable question that I actually, surprisingly, know the answer to. This is in part because I was covering the Bush campaign at the time and had occasion to cover Cheney a bit as well. It wasn't an awful lot of fun, largely because Cheney and his people hate the press and make no effort whatsoever to do interesting things or be nice.
Geode asks, in a comment on my Cheney-as-the-Penguin post:
How come Cheney's not running, Sean? I was trying to ask myself that the other day. I thought the veep of a 2-termer ALWAYS gave it a go.
Cheney actually said he wouldn't run back in 2000 - that was part of his agreement with Bush to start. The idea was that Bush could count on a loyal lieutenant who wasn't hamstrung by his personal agenda and by calculations about his political future. That seemed to appeal to Bush at the time. I think Cheney recognized that his medical history made him unlikely to win the White House. And really, I am not sure he wanted to be president, or at least to go through all the campaign crap that would be necessary. He's not a very enthusiastic campaigner. I even wrote a story about it.