Vice President Dick Cheney opened up for a nearly two hour interview with Bill Kristol, as part of the latest installment of Conversations With Bill Kristol:
The two discussed Cheney's time as secretary of defense, the Gulf War, the Nixon and Ford Years, the Reagan years, 9/11, and the threats we face today.
On the last point, Cheney surveyed the world -- particulary the Middle East -- and expressed concern about Iran getting nuclear weapons. If that happens, Cheney predicted, many other countries in the region would quickly acquire nuclear weapons, too.
"So we're in a very dangerous period and I think it's more threatening than the period before 9/11," Cheney predicted. "I think 9/11 will turn out to be not nearly as bad as the next mass casualty attack against the United States--which, if and when it comes, will be with something far deadlier than [with] airline tickets and box cutters."
Cheney defended the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques--specifically, waterboarding--used by the Bush administration to help save American lives, as well as the NSA program. He also talked about how congressional leaders, such as Nancy Pelosi, all privately signed off on the programs -- and implored the Bush administration not to bring it to Capitol Hill for discussion.
Kristol ended the conversation by thanking Cheney for his "model" public service.
Doug Kmiec has had an amazing political journey. Today a chaired professor at Pepperdine Law School, Kmiec has traveled nearly the full gamut of public life: He worked in the Office of Legal Counsel under both Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush and pursued an active career teaching law, at Notre Dame and Catholic University. He was thought, for a time, to be one of the leading lights in conservative Catholic legal circles.
Vice President Joe Biden talked up the pool reporter covering him in China today to the vice president of China. According to the pool report, Biden told the Chinese VP that "he is a very important man. Seriously he is important."
As Mike Warren highlights, moderator Martha Raddatz apparently didn’t think Obamacare was important enough to make the cut as one of the nine topics she brought up during the vice presidential debate. Two other closely related topics that didn’t make her cut were federal spending and the national debt. Anyone who had been asleep for four years before waking up and tuning in would never have guessed that Obamacare, rampant federal spending, and unsustainable federal debt had given rise to the Tea Party and had propelled the GOP to gains of 63 House seats and 6 Senate seats in the 2010 elections.
White House records reveal that the moderator of last night's vice presidential debate, Martha Raddatz, visited Vice President Joe Biden at his official residence on March 26, 2012. Raddatz is an employee of ABC News.
During the vice presidential debate, Paul Ryan reiterated his opposition to abortion. Joe Biden explained that he’s personally opposed to abortion but doesn’t believe in protecting the unborn. President Obama has previously expressed his own position, which might best be described as not being opposed to abortion either personally or as a matter of policy (see the first 30 seconds of this clip):
You don’t win a nationally televised debate by being rude and obnoxious. You don’t win by interrupting your opponent time after time after time or by being a blowhard. You don’t win with facial expressions, especially smirks or fake laughs, or by pretending to be utterly exasperated with what your opponent is saying.
Joe Biden was aggressive, condescending, and shamelessly demagogic. Paul Ryan was earnest, youthful, and perhaps a bit over-scripted. The upshot was a vice presidential debate that was occasionally entertaining for partisans on both sides, but was mostly unenlightening. Ultimately, I suspect, it will prove inconsequential. It's hard to believe it will change any votes, or give either side momentum.