Cheney and Palin
By John Feehery
Dick Cheney spoke what should be patently obvious to anybody who is paying attention. It was irresponsible for John McCain to pick Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential pick.
Cheney gave Jonathan Karl his startling insights about Palin over the weekend.
The man who initially picked Palin to be the GOP running mate agreed with Cheney months ago. Steve Schmidt will regret his role in picking Palin to his dying day.
John McCain, of course, continues to stick with Palin. John McCain is not the kind of guy who would tell what he thought really of Palin, even if he could. He has his story and he is sticking to it.
Liz Cheney, who harbors thoughts of running for office some day, disagreed with her father. I would respect her more if she had stuck with her father.
Meghan McCain broke with her own father on the Palin situation. She is not exactly a big fan. She said in 2010 that Palin brought a lot of needless drama to the campaign in 2008 and she said more recently that she preferred Mitt Romney to Palin in the Presidential race.
Dick Cheney is not running for office ever again, and while he looks much better than he did before he got his new heart, his comments about Palin are not a death-bed conversion.
Cheney favors rational conservatism over whatever it is that Palin is pushing. Cheney is not a cultural warrior the way Palin is. He supports gay marriage. Palin seemingly supports deporting gay people (of course, I exaggerate to make my point).
Cheney is a foreign policy expert. Palin’s foreign policy credentials can still be summed up in her ability to peer over the Bering Straits.
One place where Palin has considerable power comes in understanding the current state of the Republican primary voter. She might not know squat about policy, but she gets primary politics. And her endorsement carries more weight than Dick Cheney’s, who is still pretty unpopular with a wide swath of the American public.
Palin was not qualified to be President of the United States. She has proved that with just about every steps she has taken since the conclusion of the 2008 race, from her resignation from Governor’s office to her dabbling in reality television. But that doesn’t mean she is not a force to be reckoned with. For better or worse, she is still a powerful presence on the Republican political stage.