On CBS and "Face The Nation" Sunday, host Bob Schieffer had an interesting exchange with his guest, Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney, who will rarely do Sunday morning interviews, was again pressed with questions of his almost expected and impending "resignation."
Also reported in a story titled "White House Shake-Up Isn't Needed, Says Cheney" by Douglass K. Daniel for the Associated Press (AP) as well, it seems the media fascination and obvious distress with the vice president's unabashed conservative views continue.
What precipitated this was a discussion over the media-driven story of the White House needing a major "shake-up" in order to prop up the administrations sagging poll numbers and alleviate a string of political setbacks:
Schieffer: "We're back now with the vice president. Mr. Vice president, I must say candidly you have become a lightning rod in this administration, whether it's, you know, defending the administration when John McCain says he wants to eliminate torture or this whole eavesdropping thing. Some Republican pundits suggest that you may have become a liability. I know secretary Rumsfeld once offered to resign. Have you ever thought of that? Would you think that would be something that would be helpful to the president?"
Cheney: "I made sure both in 2000 and 2004 that the president had other options. I didn't ask for this job. I didn't campaign for it. I got drafted. Delighted to serve. It's been the highlight of my career to be part of this administration. I've now been elected to a second term. I'll serve out my term."
Scheiffer follows up with this:
Scheiffer: "I mean the fact that you have become, some people say, a hate magnet in some ways because you have spoken out on some of these issues. Is this some version of a good cop/bad cop kind of routine where you take the heat to keep the president from taking it?"
A hate magnet for whom? The mainstream media? The liberal left? We have heard this "Dump Cheney over the side" mantra before, most notably in the 2004 presidential election, when the media tried to woo Bush into opting for a conservative-less "Moderate" in the way of Colin Powell or John McCain. It was the media's attempt at trying to dampen the conservative base that absolutely loves Dick Cheney, who plays a huge part in bringing out the conservative vote to the polls.
Shamelessly, AOL followed up with one of its infamous snap-polling questions: "should Cheney step aside before Bush's term ends?"
Anyone who uses the Internet with even novice-like regularity knows that AOL is about as politically fair-minded as Senator Ted Kennedy is Conservative; and that is to say, it is not.
The dirty little secret here is that it is Dick Cheney who has done more for the Bush/Cheney ticket in 2004, and may do so now in 2006. There is no question that as of now, Republicans are wondering if they are going to keep both the House and Senate in 2006. If the GOP faithful stay away from the polls in November, then defeat for the GOP-led House and Senate may be a certainty.
More than anything, in my opinion, it will be Dick Cheney who reminds Conservatives what is at stake here, and that staying home in November--as Republicans are wont to do when disenchanted with their own leaders--is not an option.
The mainstream media sees this, and again try to roil the waters within the Republican Party by trying to cast doubt regarding one of its purest members, the Vice President.
The words "Shake-up" was never meant to include Dick Cheney. Chalk it up as just another attempt by the old world media to try and "make news" as opposed to reporting it.