Vice President Cheney is my favorite among the Bush Administration. Honorable, a “true” straight-talker, and fully committed to keeping America safe, President Bush has been fortunate to have this stalwart man behind him.
America’s Left ties Dick Cheney’s political career to Halliburton Company, as though his brief 5 year tenure as CEO there was his only career, when in fact, Cheney has a long history of serving his country.
Cheney was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978, was reelected by the people of Wyoming for 5 consecutive terms, eventually serving as the House Minority Whip. Before entering Congress, he was White House Chief of Staff for President Gerald Ford, and after Congress he served as Secretary of Defense, overseeing Operation Desert Storm for President George H. W. Bush.
In the face of serious heart disease, he has served quietly and consistently, and as Dan Calabrese says below, he didn’t need to. He just answered the very wise call of President Bush.
The McCain campaign, whether they understand it or not, needs George Bush and Dick Cheney on the podium at the Republican Convention. Assuming Cheney speaks, Conservatives will applaud it and McCain will be fortunate to have him there.
(emphasis is Maggie’s)
Dick Cheney to Center Stage (The Real One, Not the Green-Eyed Monster)
By Dan Calabrese at North Star Writer’s Group
By Dan Calabrese at North Star Writer’s Group
Dick Cheney is going to speak in prime time on the first night of the Republican National Convention, right before President Bush.
Maybe the John McCain campaign isn’t determined to run from what it knows is right just because it’s unpopular. Maybe McCain has decided it’s better to show America the people who have been, in reality, keeping the country safe for the past seven-and-a-half years – rather than letting the nation continue to conceptualize the green-eyed, fang-toothed villains they seem to have in mind when they talk to pollsters.
It’s not news that Bush is going to speak at the convention. He’s the president. He gets to speak, regardless of his approval ratings. Two-term presidents always get the opportunity to give a valedictory address. The news is that Cheney will speak. There had been speculation to the contrary, and as recently as last week his office was noncommittal about it – presumably waiting for confirmation that the McCain people were not afraid to have him appear on stage.
They’re not. Either that or they’re even more afraid of creating a story by shutting him out. It’s possible that they fear a Cheney-is-missing-because-everyone-hates-him story would get more attention than simply letting the man talk.
Whatever the reason, Cheney’s appearance – not to mention the president’s – offers an opportunity for the McCain campaign to seriously undercut one of Barack Obama’s most vacuous campaign tactics. You know this one. Current Iraq policy? It’s the Bush-McCain Iraq War. Energy policy? It’s the Cheney-McCain-Halliburton policy. A McCain presidency would be the third term for Bush-Cheney-McCain, blah blah blah . . .
Obama the “new kind of politician” follows the old formulas without fail. Bush and Cheney have low approval ratings. Therefore, mention McCain in connection to them whenever you can.
In reality, though, the public hasn’t seen that much of Bush, and even less of Cheney, for the past couple of years. This is partly because the media decided the day after the 2006 mid-term elections that Bush and Cheney were yesterday’s news, and severely scaled back covering them. With respect to Cheney, it is also because a vice president who is not running for president is a rather curious and, in a politics-obsessed environment, not all that newsworthy figure.
But perhaps most importantly, and most frustratingly for many of their remaining supporters, neither Bush nor Cheney seems all that interested in combating their unpopularity. Bill Clinton and the perpetual campaign this is not. Bush does what he does, the polls be damned, and Cheney operates behind the scenes – doing whatever it is that he’s doing. As far as much of the public is concerned, Cheney boils orphans and eats their bones for breakfast, then sends their ragged clothes to oil company executives who hire Rumplestiltskin to spin them into gold.
When Cheney takes the stage in St. Paul in September, that’s the guy a lot of people will be expecting to see. But that’s not what they’re going to get.
Dick Cheney is a principled man motivated by duty and country. He gave up riches by agreeing to run for vice president. The dolts who claim he is steering contracts to his Halliburton pals forget that Cheney had to sell his Halliburton stock to join Bush’s ticket in 2000. If he’d wanted to enrich himself, he could have remained as Halliburton’s CEO and really made a killing.
Cheney is thoughtful, reflective, soft-spoken and serious. He knows more about real threats to the nation’s security than Barack Obama and his entire team of national security advisors put together. He understands that to govern is to choose, and that to be serious about protecting the nation is to make choices that don’t win you praise from all quarters – or sometimes from any quarters.
We don’t hear from Dick Cheney all that much because Cheney doesn’t care for the attention. Why does he need it? He didn’t take the job of vice president to position himself for the presidency. He took it to serve. He’s willingly taken much of the public abuse from constituencies who refuse to be adults about the nation’s real challenges and the steps necessary to confront them.
Read more at North Star Writer’s Group.