Apples and Oranges? No, Apples and Apples
The gravelly voice was even scratchier than usual as Vice President Dick Cheney spoke publicly for the first time about the hunting accident that injured his friend of 30 years, Atty. Harry Whittington. His main offense seems to be not speaking to the major MSM until 72 hours after the shot. Worse, 18 hours after the accident, he allowed an eyewitness to give a statement to the local paper in Austin, creating an official record before the White House Press Corps could comment. How DARE he not consult with the reporting pool in Washington immediately, and allow some small town tintype to steal their time?
Think that’s an overstatement? Consider the monologue Monday night on Leno, or Letterman’s Top Ten List. But they are professional comedians; the efforts of the amateurs are far more smarmy. Jim Brady, who was crippled by a gunshot during an assassination attempt on President Reagan, joked that he wondered why Dick Cheney was always asking him to go hunting. That was marginal, but Mrs. Brady was worse. She unctuously stated that she had always thought that Cheney had a weird vibe about him, and now that he had shot a man, she knew she had been right to be afraid of him. Al Franken said he had either been drinking, or was an incredible jerk. Before they learned that Mr. Whittington was being kept in intensive care for privacy reasons, and was in fact sitting up and working on legal briefs after the small pellet caused a 'silent' heart attack, the Democrat D.A. announced that if the man died the Vice President could expect to sit in front of a Grand Jury immediately (how many hunting accidents in Texas do you think he prosecuted last year?) And on and on.
This was an accident. But because Cheney didn’t grovel sufficiently and quickly enough to NBC, CNN, et al, the most amazing inferences are being tossed around by the Washington insiders. "I think the reason it took the vice president a day to talk about this is part of the secretive nature of this administration," said the top Senate Democrat 'Searchlight Harry' Reid. "They keep things pretty close to the chest." Of course, last August, Reid and his family kept his mini-stroke a secret from the press for three days, until the tests were done and they were sure he would pull through. But that was different. That was a medical situation. Besides, they're Democrats.
Sometimes, it's useful to characterize a person by using a local and well known personality as an example. Dick Cheney is gruff, stubborn, experienced and has a kind heart - think former Rep. Tom George.
President George Bush is brash, almost overconfident, with deep convictions and strong opinions - think Rep. Jeff Perry.
Former Vice President Al Gore is aloof, wooden, opinionated, given to odd flashes of rage - think Rep. Matt Patrick.
Former President Bill Clinton needs to be loved by everybody, can be inconsistent in positions on issues, but has a real knack of making a connection that makes you forget the contradictions - think Rep. Shirley Gomes.
Cong. Tom DeLay is vengeful, opinionated, and careless about money and rules, which are for other people - think Rep. Demetrius Atsalis.
Sen. Hillary Clinton is making a teeth-gritting attempt to be seen as a moderate, but is a flaming and passionate ultra-liberal under her assumed rationality - think Rep. Cleon Turner.
Sen. 'Searchlight Harry' Reid is quite senior in years of service, and should be an influential leader, but radiates ineffectiveness and ineptness - think Rep. Eric Turkington.
Sen. Ted Kennedy is rambling, incoherent, confused, big-haired, and admired more for past accomplishments than for any current capabilities - think Sen. Rob O'Leary.
Sen. John McCain is an intelligent workhorse, despised by the fringe elements of the Party - think Sen. Therese Murray.
See? Apples and Apples after all.