By JONATHAN MARTIN | 6/11/08 4:52 AM EST

Heís a highly effective fundraiser in an election cycle in which Republicans are starved for cash, a hero to the wing of the party that views John McCain with the most suspicion. He has four decades of campaign experience, ranging from a short stint running Gerald Fordís election bid in 1976 to two successful races on the presidential ticket.

Yet despite that pedigree, Vice President Dick Cheney is unlikely to share a stage with McCain anytime soonóand may not be called on to play any role at all in the 2008 presidential campaign.

In part, itís a reflection of political expediency. Though Cheney is one of the nationís most influential and talked about vice presidents ever, his favorability ratings are near toxic lows.

But Cheney and McCain also have had a rocky relationship.