With Cheney at the helm, Halliburton's performance greatly improved. Indeed, when oil prices peaked in 1999, the company's stock rose from less than $40 per share in March to over $50 in June. Cheney unloaded some 100,000 of his Halliburton stock, pocketing a tidy profit of more than $5 million. Naturally, many observers wondered about the extent to which his "experience" in government had contributed to his financial success.
Indeed, during the 2000 presidential election race, the vice presidential candidates, Joe Lieberman and Dick Cheney, faced off in a memorable dabate.
"I'm pleased to see, Dick, from the newspapers," Lieberman suggestively remarked, "that you're better off than you were eight years ago." "And I can tell you, Joe," Cheney quipped, "that the government had absolutely nothing to do with it!"
["I can see my wife," Lieberman noted, "and I think she's saying, 'I think he should go out into the private sector.'" "Well," Cheney retorted, "I'm going to try to help you do that, Joe!" (According to The New Yorker's Jane Mayer, Cheney, as chief of Halliburton, was involved in several shady deals. Moreover, government had a great deal to do with it. In the five years before Cheney joined Halliburton, for example, the company received a hundred million dollars in government credit guarantees. During Cheney's tenure, this amount jumped to $1.5 billion.)]