From the Times tease of the new Bush book:
6:14 p.m. | Updated President George W. Bush considered dumping Vice President Dick Cheney from his 2004 reelection ticket to dispel the myths about Mr. Cheney’s power in the White House and “demonstrate that I was in charge,” the former president says in a new memoir.
The idea came from Mr. Cheney, who offered to drop out of the race one day during a private lunch between the two men in mid-2003. “I did consider the offer,” Mr. Bush writes, and spent several weeks exploring the possibility of replacing Mr. Cheney with Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, the majority leader, before opting against the switch.
...Mr. Bush wrote that he trusted Mr. Cheney, valued his steadiness and considered him a good friend. So, “at one of our lunches a few weeks later, I asked Dick to stay and he agreed.”
Mid-2003? I want dates! With the looming release of the new Valerie Plame fantasy (inspired by actual events!) I have been having post-traumatic stress flashbacks to my favorite obsession. And one of those flashbacks included this speculation about Scooter Libby's motive for lying to the FBI:
I don't think Cheney, Libby, or anyone in the White House had any notion that Wilson's wife may have been covert (was she?), so the notion that this was a staged leak to punish Wilson was simply a convenient partisan fiction.
However, I do think Libby lied to the investigators of this non-crime, thereby committing a crime. His motives would have been to cling to his own security clearances and to protect Dick Cheney from embarrassment. Do keep in mind that Cheney was not a viable Presidential candidate in 2008, so as of June 2003 there was some thought that Bush might attempt to anoint his successor by picking a new VP.
So to tie in this latest tidbit, Cheney made a pre-emptive offer to resign, hoping Bush would turn him down. Meanwhile, loyal underlings like Libby were, uhhh, managing the message to the FBI in order to shield Cheney from his enemies. And those enemies included some higher-ups at the DoJ, who were scuffling with Cheney on interrogtion and the NSA warrantless surveillance at about this time (mid 2003 to early 2004).