(May 4, 2004) - (Bentonville-AP) -- Wal-Mart as a leading economic indicator? The Bentonville-based retail giant was painted in that light yesterday by Vice President Dick Cheney, who said the company's success is an example of the Bush administration's economic triumphs amid a difficult economy. Cheney made the remark during a visit to the hometown of the world's largest retailer. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart leaders and Arkansas' Republican governor boasted that the recession never affected this booming region in northwest Arkansas. While lashing out at Bush's likely Democratic opponent, Senator John Kerry, Cheney urged one thousand cheering Wal-Mart employees to vote in November for -- quote -- "the confident, steady, disciplined leadership of George W- Bush."