I’ve been a huge fan of the former VP since I first heard of him during the first Gulf War in the early ’90s.
His steady hand and unwavering professionalism over a tremendous career of public service includes serving in both Richard Nixon’s and Gerald Ford’s White Houses, the House of Representatives, leading the Department of Defense, and of course his excellent service to George W. Bush as Vice President.
Between his duties as SecDef and Vice President, he had an incredible private-sector career serving on the American Enterprise Institute and the Council on Foreign Relations (where he had previously served as director), and of course Chairman and CEO for Halliburton.
Through all of this, the draw to him was twofold: First, he was and has since been a great mind. He is a huge thinker and very methodical in his decisions and advice he’s given as a trusted confidant for three presidents (directly, not to mention his work with Ronald Reagan while Cheney was a congressman). One of the most measured and thoughtful Vice Presidents of our Nation’s history, were it not for the inexplicably unhinged detractors’ fantasies, he’d probably go down in history as the brightest man to ever hold that office. But even Cheney-haters will have to agree that he was by far the most influential and powerful Vice President of the modern era, attributable by his admirers to his wonderful mind, and by his detractors to his devious nature.
Secondly, Cheney also combined two very admirable traits into exactly what you’d want in a confidant. He was equal parts blunt and unassuming. I have no doubt that, when asked, he gave all the great men mentioned above his most honest opinion, and because they came to expect it, they trusted and appreciated it. At the same time, the former Vice-President was never one to pipe-up and just offer his opinion. He was a serene and gentle man, a vast contrast to the caricature his adversaries tried so hard (and, unfortunately on too many occasions, thanks to the media who also had no love for him, were all too able to succeed) to portray of him.
Which is why it is so difficult to see him since he left Washington continue to openly question the current president. In his second interview (tonight and tomorrow night with Sean Hannity) since leaving office, he for as many times takes the opportunity to question and criticize the current president. Aside from the validity* of the criticism (which is as spot-on as Cheney’s words are eloquent on the subject), it is simply not the place, in my opinion, for such a high-ranking former administration member to express these opinions of a sitting president.
In an age not long after former presidents Carter and Clinton had no problem insulting and bad-mouthing (even personally) a sitting president at any opportunity, and personal attacks on individual citizens coming from the press podium of the current administration, it’s nothing new to hear a once-leader of our Nation stoop to the level of a trash-blogger. Granted, Cheney has not come anywhere close to the embarrassing (if Carter, Clinton, or Obama had the capacity to feel such a thing) behavior of these men. I have to say, though, that I had always put Dick Cheney above these two bitter and small men.
As much as I admire and have studied the former Vice President, I do not know why it is he chooses to even humor interviews, and let alone why he would choose to speak in this way when he does. I wish he would take his former bosses’ (both George W. Bush and his father) approach and deny the temptation to criticize President Obama. The words he has for this inexperienced, clearly unqualified, and overly egotistical socialist who now resides in the White House will not go without saying. Believe me, there are plenty of people who enjoy picking apart what will be four years of errors and missteps (Lord, they’ve already started). The former Vice President should retreat to Wyoming with his wife Lynn, enjoy some time with his two year-old granddaughter, write the memoir that I’m dying to read, and please be quiet.
*(Full disclosure for the haters…I haven’t read the entire interview, as it’s not yet been published. My agreement is only with what’s been published so far, so there may be some positions of the former VP with which I disagree. But it’s unlikely)
– Nick (ColoradoPatriot) from HQ