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Cheney for President? "No Second Thoughts"

Fresh from minor heart surgery, Vice President Cheney says he hasn't had a change of heart. He still doesn't plan to run for president. "That was the right decision for me and my family and I have no second thoughts," he told Mark Knoller of CBS Radio yesterday. Look for him to deliver the same message tonight on CNN's "Larry King Live."

That no doubt will relieve much of the country and disappoint those true believers still holding out hope. After all, when it comes to Cheney, speculation always runs rampant, no matter what he says. Scenarios flow through Washington more readily than earmark money: He'll use last weekend's replacement of his defibrillator as a pretext to resign in favor of, say, Fred Thompson. Or he'll decide the 2008 field is so weak that he needs to change his mind and jump in to protect the country.


Maybe, some thought, Cheney would find he liked the taste of his 125-minute presidency while George W. Bush underwent a colonoscopy this month. Conservatives quickly dreamed up all sorts of agendas for the couple hours he was in charge. National Review Online's Kathryn Jean Lopez collected from readers a list of things Acting President Cheney should do:

Bomb Iran.

Commute the sentences of those border agents.

Fire Mike Chertoff.

Tell Harry Reid to ... well, you know ...

Pardon Scooter.

Ultimately, of course, Cheney did none of those things. Instead, he told Knoller, he spent his time in power writing a letter to his grandchildren as a souvenir. But that hasn't stopped the dreaming on the right. And why not? As deeply unpopular as he is with much of the country, many agitating for impeachment, Cheney is still a hero to some in the Republican primary electorate. The most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found that even among the public at large, Cheney is more popular than Bush (okay, just barely, with a 34 percent approval rating to the president's 33 percent). And after all, America hasn't seen a presidential race in 80 years without an incumbent president or vice president running, so it's hard getting used to the idea.

Moreover, it's easy to imagine that Cheney doesn't find any of the current Republican candidates much to his liking -- Rudy Giuliani's tough on terrorism, but a lot more liberal than Cheney on issues such as abortion and gun rights; John McCain's stalwart on the Iraq war, but he and Cheney butted heads over torture; Mitt Romney wants to "double Guantanamo," something Cheney probably agrees with, but Romney doesn't seem like the sort of foreign policy heavyweight the vice president would prefer in this day and age; and Fred Thompson, well, all those plea bargains on "Law & Order" probably get Cheney's goat.

So should we look for a Cheney candidacy? The New York Sun thinks so. Just in April, it editorialized that the vice president should enter the race "because Mr. Cheney is so much more experienced and shrewd a figure, one who could help settle some of the arguments about the Bush years in favor of Mr. Bush." The editorial generated so much response that managing editor Ira Stoll wrote last week that it "caused a furor in the blogosphere and led to the production of an entire segment on CNN. It also led to several dinner party conversations of friends or relatives of the editorial writer devoted to whether the writer had finally lost his mind."

Stoll, though, went on to interpret the publication of Stephen Hayes's favorable new biography, "Cheney: The Untold Story of America's Most Powerful and Controversial Vice President" -- and the fact that the vice president gave 30 hours of interviews for it -- as signs that the door has not been completely closed. "My own guess -- okay, hope -- is that Mr. Cheney has taken a look at the Republican presidential field and sees an opening," Stoll wrote. "If Iowa and New Hampshire Republicans start receiving copies of 'Cheney' in their mailboxes, Mr. Cheney's popularity may yet begin to climb."

Maybe, maybe not. Cheney, actually, has been pretty clear on the subject even before yesterday's interview, taking William Tecumseh Sherman one step further just to be sure. "I made it clear from the outset that I'm not a candidate for president," Cheney said on CBS's "Face the Nation" last year. "I won't run for president. I've taken the Sherman statement -- 'if nominated, I will not run; if elected, I won't serve.' I mean, I've been very, very firm on that."

Very, very. Of course, if Cheney chief of staff David Addington can figure a way to get the vice president's office out of the executive branch, he ought to be able to find a loophole in that. And Cheney does like to tease. At many events, particularly political fundraisers, Cheney opens with this line: "A reception like that is almost enough to make you want to run for office again." Then he adds, deadpan: "Almost."

-- Peter Baker

Posted at 8:22 AM ET on Jul 31, 2007  | Category:  Morning Cheat Sheet
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I see the venomous feelings toward Vice President Cheney as more than humorous. Who would have guessed that anybody could have solicitated so much irrational anger, fuming & rage?

Anyway, I don't like President Bush because he's so liberal. Bush has done so many things that liberals should be happy with and that no Democrat would ever even dream of attempting to do if elected president. Bush's huge socialized medicine prescription drug benefit for seniors, Bush increasing the size of the Federal Department of Education to its largest levels in history with "No Child Left Behind"- even though the federal government has no business getting involved in education, Bush's enormous expansions of the federal government and new and expanded federal spending programs, the Bush Campaign Finance Reform Act (some people call this McCain-Feingold, but Bush signed this unconstitutional violation of the 1st Amendment, so it's his fault), Bush's amnesty plan for all illegal aliens & his attempts to help big businesses acquire even more slave labor, Bush authorizing over $500 billion in farm subsidies, etc, etc. When libs complain that "Bush is "too Conservative", who are they really asking for? Lenin? Stalin? Or Mao? Bush is the most liberal president that we've had since LBJ - who was a real "warmonger" - an accusation constantly leveled at George W.

Cheney, on the other hand, does not seem as left-of-center as Bush. Cheney, from all accounts, is a "real conservative" not just someone who Karl Rove calls a holier-than-thou "compassionate conservative." Although Cheney is undoubtedly a neo-con, which means that he sees America as needing to be too involved in many international issues which we should stay away from, Cheney is smarter and more articulate than Bush. I frankly believe he could be a much better leader & therefore a better President than Bush. Plus Cheney is not ashamed of being a conservative like Bush. Bush constantly attacks his base. Bush's only saving graces are that he is consistently strong on life issues & that he appointed John Roberts & Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. But he almost even screwed that up with Harriet Myers. When Bush is gone, I'll say good riddence, but unless a real conservative wins the nomination, I'm afraid Bush's biggest & most irreparable damage is that he will have destroyed the conservative wing of the Republican Party.

Posted by: tylercmott | August 5, 2007 10:46 AM

I'm surprised those flowers he's standing next too didn't wilt immediately.

Posted by: barrypatricia | July 31, 2007 6:15 PM

Cheney can't run for president--there is a constitutional prohibition on being president more than 2 terms ....

Posted by: lovinliberty | July 31, 2007 5:43 PM

If I had to caption that photo above, it would say:

"I'm dick cheney, the real dick cheney, all the other dick cheneys are just imitating, so will the real dick cheney please stand up, please stand up."

Posted by: superyeadon | July 31, 2007 5:34 PM

It is Cheney's hatefulness toward anyone who dares to disagree with him that makes this administration as unpopular as it is. Bush would be alot better off today if he had ditched this guy after the first 4. Of course if Cheney wants to replicate Walter Mondale's election results I say go for it!

Posted by: MarcMyWords | July 31, 2007 5:01 PM

Darth Vader may just pull another rabbit out of his torture chamber and surprise us all. Cheney for president? Hello American Airlines: how much is that one-way ticket to Toronto?

Posted by: robcmor | July 31, 2007 4:15 PM

mdpotter writes, "...Can somebody explain to me how Dick Cheney's supposed thirst for power fits in with his consistent refusal, since prior to 2000, to entertain the notion of running for president?"

Hmmm. That sounds familiar.... Oh yea.

"...You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man."

William Shakespeare,
Julius Caesar, Act3, Scene 2

---------------------
And we all know how that ended. What a mess!

Kevin Olson
Manassas, VA

Posted by: noslok | July 31, 2007 3:48 PM

You mean he is not the president now?

Posted by: kcleung8947 | July 31, 2007 3:10 PM

I suppose if Blair can be Peace Envoy to the Middle East, Rudy could appoint Cheney to be Secretary of State.

Posted by: SarahBB | July 31, 2007 2:48 PM

And who said that liberals weren't thoughtful and articulate. Between posts on the DU praying for CJ Roberts to die and the posts here, one might be forgiven for seeing liberals as nothing more than a bunch of lunatics foaming at the mouth.

Can somebody explain to me how Dick Cheney's supposed thirst for power fits in with his consistent refusal, since prior to 2000, to entertain the notion of running for president?

But then again, liberals never were concerned about consistency, reason, or ideas. Why start now.

Posted by: mdpotter | July 31, 2007 2:36 PM

The idea that Cheney would run for President is hilarious. He's already been President for 8 yrs without ever having to hold a press conference or explain anything to the voters. No way would Cheney actually want the office when he's already had the power. Besides, Cheney would win 10 states at best. The country is sick of Lord Voldemort.

Posted by: vfazio | July 31, 2007 2:04 PM

cheney scares the living daylights out of me. i would love if he just retired somewhere quiet for the rest of his life. he's done more than enough damage.

Posted by: hijabihoodlum | July 31, 2007 1:51 PM

Cheney could, of course, run again as Vice President, and to paraphrase an earlier post, get the proverbial milk for free. To the sad true believers it wouldn't much matter who the candidate for President is so long as the big ol' Dick is VP.

Posted by: fan1 | July 31, 2007 1:39 PM

Dick Cheney is committed to protecting and serving this great nation. We are very lucky to have such a dedicated and brilliant public servant. It is an absolute shame that the liberal media has gone to such great lengths to tarnish his reputation. We can only hope that Hillary Cliton is elected so she can ruin the office of the Presidency and make democracts un-electable for years to come!

Posted by: rjarnhart | July 31, 2007 1:32 PM

...No Sarah, he would have to have had a heart to begin with to have a "change of heart". Did he see the "white light" when he was under during his operation?

Posted by: 82AllAmericans | July 31, 2007 1:30 PM

Cheney has been President since Bush stole the office. If Cheney were allowed to be President then we will surely fall. Like past countries with evil leaders such as Hitler, Saddam and even Roman there would be a strong country to come in and take over the United States. History has shown evil leaders never last there is always a bigger power. Cheney isn't trusted by anyone but big business. The GOP have no qualified candidates and they know it. Even Fredrick of Hollywood can't get support. Even the pervert lawyer Ken Starr's law firm is backing Hillary. The GOP used God's name and used it for evil now even honest Republican voters don't trust them anymore. Everyday there's a new GOP scandal. Prostitutes made a lot of money with the GOP during the Bush Administration years. Ask Senator Vitter and others. Iran, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Russia and other countries are laughing at how the US has an idiot as President and a greedy thief as Vice President. Our country is falling apart while the White House lies and pays off people to cover their lies. The Middle East will be strong and successful and hail Bush/Cheney for that happening. Yes even Palestinian will get their land back that was stolen by Israel with the help of the UK/US. Change will take place the question is will the United States have an honest strong President to be part of it. If the GOP steals another election Americans will be leaving the US like the Iraq people left after the US illegal invasion.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | July 31, 2007 1:27 PM

HELL NO!!!

Posted by: 82AllAmericans | July 31, 2007 1:26 PM

Must be a slow news day. He would have to have a heart to have a change of heart, wouldn't he?

Posted by: SarahBB | July 31, 2007 1:20 PM

You gotta be full of $h!T

Posted by: nrobertson360 | July 31, 2007 1:19 PM

bushhater If that would only come true.

Posted by: ekim53 | July 31, 2007 1:16 PM

Who will rid us of the loathsome beast?

Posted by: RichTW | July 31, 2007 1:16 PM

Who will rid us of the loathsome beast?

Posted by: RichTW | July 31, 2007 1:15 PM

If he becomes president for ANOTHER 4 years, you will see a huge population growth in Canada. America will tell him to go @#?& himself.

Posted by: bushhater | July 31, 2007 1:12 PM

Cheney for President! Thanks for that. It is hillarious.

And lest any doubts remain, I will not run for President either, nor will I accept my party's nomination should I be drafted.

Thomas Rodes
Fairfax

Posted by: thomasrodes | July 31, 2007 1:11 PM

Cheney MUST be a good choice for President because the majority commenting here are against it...a great barometer.

Posted by: ekim53 | July 31, 2007 1:06 PM

Hmmmm. Cheney for president. I thought you could only serve as president for 8 years... Isn't his 8th year coming up here soon!!!

Posted by: motion11 | July 31, 2007 1:06 PM

Why should he? He and his sock puppet Bush have that Executive Order close at hand that will allow them to declare martial law and suspend the Constitution in the event of some undefined "emergency". Now all they need is for bin Laden to launch another strike from his comfy new sanctuary with our good ally, Pakistan (or just another Katrina-scale hurricane will qualify), and TA-DA ... President/Vice President for Life.

Posted by: windrider2 | July 31, 2007 1:02 PM

Since Cheney is the Anti-Christ in waiting, his election would confirm the evangelical's belief to the end of the world. They will have what they crave.
However, no rational mind, even amongst Republicans would elect a demagogue who has no respect for the greatest document on earth. His puppet, George II has eroded the constitution more than all power hungry presidents combined. Cheney would appoint the same bunch of incompetent and unqualified people as George. They want a Republican kingdom or dictatorship. Tom Delay had that for a goal. Pond scum Rove is the architect, but I doubt even he could put enough lipstick on Cheney for the mood of the country. The country has woken up, finally. .....I hope.

Posted by: sd-mouth | July 31, 2007 1:01 PM

Dick Cheyney has no second thoughts about not running for President? Uh, when did he, or anyone else for that matter, ever have FIRST thoughts about him running? Karl Rove in his best year of smear-tactic, lying, fear-mongering, slash-and-burn campaigning couldn't get this guy elected dog catcher. Even the Republicans aren't stupid enough to consider nominating the only politician in America less popular than President Bush. Maybe the Nazi Party...

I swear. When I started reading this article I had to double check that I wasn't reading "The Onion". Anyway, thanks for the laugh.

Kevin Olson
Manassas, VA

Posted by: noslok | July 31, 2007 12:55 PM

What a laugh! Cheney couldn't beat Dr. Kevorkian in a national election. Let's just hope he and George can be forced out of the White Hosue come 2009.

Posted by: noGOP4me | July 31, 2007 12:54 PM

Its unfortunate that this fine man can't serve us all more. He's a great American. Thank God we've had him as Vice President these last 7 years. Well done Mr. Vice President Cheney. Thanks from all of us in America!

Posted by: WmJLePetomane | July 31, 2007 12:54 PM

Cheney's actually been the de facto president (notice I didn't say the "real" president since we don't have a "real" president anymore) for almost two terms, so maybe Dick's happy to ride off into the sunset and bask in the glow of his tremendous achievements (e.g., his placing the US in a permanent state of war primarily to benefit his corporate cronies).

Posted by: jjedif | July 31, 2007 12:50 PM

Thanks for the comic relief, we needed a good laugh. There's only one other guy with less chance of being elected President & that's Bin Laden!

Posted by: garyjhale | July 31, 2007 12:44 PM

This country elected George W. Twice. The electorate deserves Cheney. What would it take to shake the complacent folks of this country who are handing over democracy to this crew...

Posted by: momo1tx | July 31, 2007 12:38 PM

askgonzo,

Actually he is using the Federal Health Benefits Plan. He is one of the reasons why the premiums go up each year. Kind of tells me that the old ticker ain't taking a licking.

Heart transplant next, then a run for the presidency, an office he has directed since 2001. No term limits for Cheney. Sixteen years for him.

Posted by: FedupwithPolitics | July 31, 2007 12:29 PM

Though I am a yellow dog Democrat, I would like to make a suggestion to my fellow citizens who are Republicans: please encourage Dick Cheney to seek your party's nomination and then bestow the nomination upon him. We Democrats would owe you an immense debt of gratitude if you would do this.

Posted by: mmeyerdc | July 31, 2007 12:24 PM

What? Being president for the last seven years hasn't been enough for Cheney?

Posted by: diegotutweiler | July 31, 2007 12:19 PM

BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAABWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAABWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAABWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAABWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAABWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAABWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAABWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wiping tear

BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAABWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAABWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAABWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAABWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAABWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAABWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAABWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: dan3 | July 31, 2007 12:18 PM

But the constitution only allows a person to serve as president for 2 terms.

Posted by: tochrism | July 31, 2007 12:11 PM

AmExpat, Cheney and Hillary's approval ratings aren't comparable. Despite the comment above that claims a 34% approval rating for Cheney, I heard 19% just a couple of weeks ago. Last week the WAPO had a headline that Hillary was leading in the polls when it comes to the Democratic nomination for pres. To compare Hillary's popularity to Cheney's is rather absurd. Few "leaders" in history have been as unpopular as Cheney. That's the real reason Cheney doesn't run, he doesn't have a snowball's chance in Hades. Hillary definitely has a chance, Satan, I mean Cheney, has none.

Posted by: red2million | July 31, 2007 12:10 PM

actually it would be worth it just to watch his pacemaker explode during the first debate when he gets challenged on all his secrecy and deception. maybe THAT would straighten out his congenital sneer.

Posted by: bklyndan22 | July 31, 2007 12:09 PM

Is there someone somewhere who WANTS Dick "Dick" Cheney to run for president?

(Well, when I come to ponder the matter, maybe even I do. We'd beat the tar out of him so bad, and carry veto/filibuster proof majorities of the House and Senate along with it, that it would make history as the greatest rout since the tragic 1940 NFL championship game.)

C'mon, Dick. Won't you reconsider?

Posted by: FergusonFoont | July 31, 2007 12:07 PM

The most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found that even among the public at large, Cheney is more popular than Bush (okay, just barely, with a 34 percent approval rating to the president's 33 percent).

Keep in mind that that poll is a distinct outlier. Most polls find that Cheney is less popular than a pubic louse.

Posted by: amoffett1 | July 31, 2007 11:55 AM

Hey why not? They haven't finished the job of COMPLETELY f-ing this country up and everyone in it with a net worth of less than 100 million.

They haven't COMPLETELY decimated our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Yes they have managed to squander ALL good will the world had for the US after 9/11. At least they finished THAT job.

Let's give them a chance to completely destroy this country.

Posted by: vze2r3k5 | July 31, 2007 11:54 AM

************RUN CHENEY RUN************

Let the people clearly vote on more of the same, or a new direction. All the Republicans are effectively Bush II want-to-bes, so lets put up the real thing.

Then President Clinton will have super majorities in the House and Senate and will be able to start the decades long process of rebuilding the USA's international moral standing.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | July 31, 2007 11:49 AM

Impeach Cheney. Impeach them both.

Posted by: georgewbentley | July 31, 2007 11:46 AM

Impeach Cheney. Impeach them both.

Posted by: georgewbentley | July 31, 2007 11:45 AM

God help us! That sums it up!

Posted by: metsfan1 | July 31, 2007 11:33 AM

It would probably fit best to have Dick Cheney as successor of George W. Bush. The two have shown to the world that unilateralism is the key word of their administration. If America intends to continue to alienate the rest of the world, then Cheney would certainly be the right choice. However, I do not believe that the great nation of USA can afford having a President Cheney. I as a European would in any case not understand such a decision. Furthermore, a generation change must take place - that is why Obama will have a chance.

Posted by: bboehmzh | July 31, 2007 11:32 AM

Cheney run for Prez.? Why buy the cow . . . ?

Posted by: scotrell | July 31, 2007 11:23 AM

Why would he bother? he's already the puppetmaster.

Posted by: nburch | July 31, 2007 11:22 AM

Dick Cheney ought run as a direct counterpart to Hillary Clinton. Both are revered by elitists of their party. Both are haughty and more importantly, both are completely unelectable thanks to the insanely high disapproval ratings they garner, both within and outside of their party.

Posted by: AmExpat | July 31, 2007 11:21 AM

thank god we have national health care to pay for all his heart problems

Posted by: askgonzo | July 31, 2007 10:47 AM

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