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Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

Category: Vice President Cheney

Sunday shows: Cheney, Clinton, Huntsman, Blair, Cain

Tony Blair 9-11

ABC's "This Week" with Christiane Amanpour: Tony Blair, former President Clinton and Eric Schmidt of Google, with George Will, Jonathan Karl, Michael Beschloss and Cokie Roberts.

Bloomberg's "Political Capital" with Al Hunt: Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., Republican presidential candidate.

CBS' "Face the Nation" with Bob Schieffer: former President Clinton and former Vice President Dick Cheney.

CNN Fareed Zakaria "GPS": Jeffrey Immelt, Eliott Abrams, Rashid Khalidi, Bret Stephens and Gideon Rose.

CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley: Sens, Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren and Maen Areikat of the PLO.

Fox News Channel "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), House Budget Committee chairman, and Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, with Bill Kristol, Evan Bayh, Paul Gigot and Juan Williams.

NBC's "Meet the Press" with David Gregory: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky,) and former President Clinton, with Alex Castellanos, Jennifer Granholm, Mark Halperin and Helene Cooper.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Tony Blair. Credit Luke MacGregor / Reuters

Kindly Dick Cheney's advice for Hillary Clinton: Run!

Former vice president Dick Cheney's Book In My Time

Ever eager to offer helpful political advice from his long Washington experience, former Vice President Dick Cheney thinks former first lady, former senator and current Secretary of State Hillary  Clinton should challenge Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2012.

Cheney is doing more interviews than he would like these days. He'd like to do zero interviews.

Dick Cheney 9-11But he's selling a book, "In My Time," which as the former high school wrestler promised, settles some scores from that long Washington experience.

This time Cheney was on ABC News with Jonathan Karl.

Part of the silent understanding in these book promotion deals is that the author tacitly agrees to answer some questions that have nothing to do with the book but might make news in return for some questions that do have something to do with the book.

Karl asked Cheney if Hillary Clinton would have made a better president than the Real Good Talker who gets a national stage again tonight to talk to Congress.

Cheney acknowledged that she hasn't expressed any interest and called her a "pretty formidable individual," high praise in Wyoming.

He added:

I think she’s probably the most competent person they’ve got in their– in their cabinet. And, frankly, I thought she was gonna win the nomination last time around.

Maybe if the Obama record is bad enough -- and these days it’s not very good, given the shape of the economy -- maybe there will be enough ferment in the Democratic Party so that there will be a primary on their side.

Then Cheney added:

I think it'd be good for the country. It'd be good for the Democratic Party.

And then he added something else:

And it might even help the Republicans.

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-- Andrew Malcolm

Don't forget to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the re-Tweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photos: Michael Reynolds / EPA; Price Chambers / NBC Dateline.

Sunday shows: Cheney, Huntsman, DeMint, Trumka

ABC's "This Week" with Christiane Amanpour: Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) with Dana Loesch, Jon Karl, Clarence Page, Michael Gerson, Carol Lee, Jared Bernstein and Douglas Holtz-Eakinformer vice president Dick Cheney Book In My Time

Bloomberg's "Political Capital with Al Hunt:" AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

CBS' "Face the Nation" with Bob Schieffer: Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, a Republican, and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.)

CNN Fareed Zakaria "GPS": Frank Gehry, Heather Knight, Zanab Salbi, Sheryl WuDunn and husband Nicholas Kristof, and Platon

CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley: DeMint, James Hoffa of the Teamsters, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), Michael Duffy and Peter Baker

Fox News Channel "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace: Dick Cheney with Ed Gillespie, Bill Kristol, Kirsten Powers and Mara Liasson

NBC's "Meet the Press" with David Gregory: Doris Kearns Goodwin, Paul Gigot, Mark McKinnon and Tom Friedman

-- Andrew Malcolm

Why wait until Sunday for politics? Click here now to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or follow us @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle now. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share this item with friends.

Vice president's reference to opponents as 'terrorists' deserves condemnation

joe Biden and dick Cheney, file

Outrage flooding in now even from overseas over former Vice President Dick Cheney likening some opponents of President Bush's policies and administration to "terrorists."

Terrorists? Really? With the 10th anniversary of real terrorism coming next month. Pathetic, even for Repugnicans.

It's the kind of over-the-top rhetorical retribution that only inflames political passions and hard feelings at a highly partisan time in the nation's capitol. You have to expect it from the veteran Washington insider and no-holds-barred Republican enforcer who once worked for an oil industry company.

During a meeting with his party's House caucus earlier this week several members reportedly expressed outrage over parts of the pending debt agreement with opponents, likening the other side to terrorists holding the plan hostage to gain an advantage.

At one point the vice president is said to have acknowledged, "They have acted like terrorists."  Seriously, that guy's been out of office for -- what? -- 30 months now. His party lost. Let it go, Mr. Cheney!

The Democratic team of Barack Obama and Joe Biden arrived in Washington in 2009 sincerely determined to change the city's crony culture, to overcome the harsh partisan tone that had infested the former swamp during the first eight years of this century. How can such gentlemen possibly make progress for America when the response from the GOP side invokes terrorism during what should be a simple policy debate?

Oh, wait. What? Oh, that's right. It was Vice President Joe Biden who said that. And it happened during a caucus of his party's angry Democratic House members, not Republicans.

Well, nevermind then.

Forget we brought it up. No condemnation needed. Biden's not the kind of partisan guy to shoot from the lip. He obviously didn't mean it. Or he was misunderstood. Or caught up in the moment. Could happen to anybody who isn't Republican. If, in fact, Biden even uttered it. Lighten up!

-- Andrew Malcolm

Stand up for peace and the American way. Follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photo: Emily Riley / Reuters (Cheney and Biden, file).

Breaking Urgent Flash Really Rush: Mitt Romney is running for president, again, still

Republican Mitt Romney Announce his presidential candidacy in Stratham NH 6-2-11

Mitt Romney announced today what most sentient Americans have known since August of 2008, the former Massachusetts governor is running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

This became quickly obvious long ago when John McCain's Hail Sarah pass was ruined by McCain's own backbiting staff and then completely blown up by the Wall Street meltdown, not to mention eight years of accumulating anger over George W. Bush policies and his lazy decision to keep Dick Cheney as political partner, instead of grooming a young heir apparent for four years.

So, with no Hillary Clinton pantsuits to mock, the country was doomed by its own self-proclaimed progressive news media to focus on the credentials of the female GOP candidate -- the important stuff, you know, her frameless glasses, alleged wardrobe desires, whether her hair was up or down on any given day, and, of course, red shoes or not. What deleterious impacts her political ambitions had on her poor, oddly-named children. And the possible divorce there rumored by no one trustworthy.

Instead of superficial campaign stuff like the Real Good Talker's blank resume, absence of reform credentials, bald ambition and Chicago machine heritage.

According to Republican tradition, next year's nomination should go to....

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'Sire, the peasants are revolting!' Obama's amazing problem with political optics

Democrat president barack Obama enjoys an Oval Office phone call, file

"Sire," the nobleman urgently reports to the throne, "the peasants are revolting!"

"Phewee!" the king responds in the vaudeville sketch, "You're telling me."

For security reasons mainly, every modern U.S. president lives apart from average Americans.

Yes, George Washington refused to shake hands with fellow citizens. But Thomas Jefferson quickly took up that democratic habit. Two presidents have been assassinated shaking hands and Andrew Jakcson would have been had the pistols not misfired. Shaking hands has now become such an expected political staple that campaigning pols must often soak their hands of an evening to relieve the pain from so many citizen grips.

Most presidents do try to play down their apartness and not appear, well, royal. Remember all the mocking of Richard Nixon's proposed martinette White House guard uniforms? Royals are, after all, the folks we threw out in a revolution more than two centuries ago.

But, wow, what has gone wrong with the Optics Czar in the Obama White House?

The current president is a Real Good Talker. But the current White House crowd, which counts on its public connections to....

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Post-Tucson, will Dick Cheney's quote give Obama cover for a State of the Union gun control measure?

Tucson shooting Memorial Crowd 1-13-11

The emotional aftermath of the recent Tucson shootings saw the usual calls for tighter restrictions on guns from the usual Democratic suspects.

It also saw a surge in sales of guns, possibly by people anticipating further limits.

California's Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer wants tighter restrictions on who can carry concealed weapons.

Maryland Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer says legislation controlling super-sized ammunition clips up to 33 cartridges could save lives by curtailing the length of rapid-firing. The Tucson shooter got off 19 rounds.

And New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, who lost her husband to a shooter on a commuter train in 1993, introduced legislation this week to limit ammo clips to....

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Dick Cheney and Halliburton avoid bribery charges in Nigeria ... by forking over $250 million

why is this many, smiling? because he is Dick Cheney and he no longer has to worry about the threat of a Nigerian prison

Former Vice President Dick Cheney got an early Christmas gift, courtesy of the Nigerian government.

Seems he and his former company, Halliburton, found themselves in some hot water when they were accused of "improper payments to government officials in Nigeria in connection with the construction and subsequent expansion by a joint venture known as TSKJ of a natural gas liquefaction project on Bonny Island, Nigeria, in which Halliburton's former subsidiary KBR Inc. had an approximate 25 percent interest," a Halliburton news release said.

The natural gas project contract in question was worth $6 billion, Femi Babafemi, a spokesman for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, told the Associated Press.

Last year Halliburton and KBR pleaded guilty in a U.S. court of paying off the Nigerian officials more than $180 million in bribes when Cheney was chief executive of Haliburton and were fined a record $579 million under the Foreign Corrupt Practices act, and a top KBR executive, Albert "Jack" Stanley was sentenced to seven years in prison.

One of Cheney's lawyers, Terrence O'Donnell, said Cheney had nothing to do with it. "The Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission investigated that joint venture extensively and found no suggestion of any impropriety by Dick Cheney in his role of CEO of Halliburton," O'Donnell wrote in a statement to the Associated Press. "Any suggestion of misconduct on his part, made now, years later, is entirely baseless."

Meanwhile, the Nigerians still wanted a pound of flesh, and because it appears to be easy for a multibillion-dollar energy company like Halliburton to throw money at problems, that's what they seem to have done. Halliburton and KBR will pay $32.5 million to the Nigerian government and $2.5 million to the Nigerian lawyers, and release some frozen assets in a Swiss bank account to the Africans. Total payout: about $250 million.

In return, Cheney, Halliburton, and KBR can walk away from the situation, and the Nigerians get even more than the original $180 million from the former vice president's company.

Merry Christmas to all except for the fictional Internet-famous Nigerian prince(s) who were not taken care of in the settlement, so expect their pleas to continue to fill spam folders everywhere.

-- Tony Pierce
twitter.com/busblog

Photo: Former Halliburton CEO (1995-2000) and U.S. Vice President (2001-2009) Dick Cheney. Credit: Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images North America

 

Was President Obama endangered by premature news reports of his arrival in Afghan warzone?

Democrat president Barack addressing US troops at Bagram air force base Friday night 12-3-10

A growing flap -- and concerns -- over President Obama's personal safety and security in the Afghan war zone tonight, given that some American news outlets reported he was there nearly a half-hour before Air Force One actually landed.

The concern is not just factual. Thus alerted, an enemy with a shoulder-fired missile near Bagram Air Base outside Kabul could have fired on the president's plane or its decoys.

The president is over the Atlantic Ocean now on a 15-hour return trip following a....

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George W. Bush: 'Honored to serve. ... I gave it my all'

Sean Hannity of Fox News Channel interviews former president George W Bush at his Texas Ranch on his new book Decision Points 11-10

President George W. Bush's memoirs, "Decision Points," come out today and so does an hourlong interview between the 43rd president and Sean Hannity of Fox News Channel (6 p.m. PT, 9 ET).

We haven't read the book yet, but the candor from early excerpts and leaks is intriguing. Here are some excerpts from the Hannity interview:

 On the "tea party" movement:

I see democracy working. People are expressing a level of frustration or concern and they're getting involved in the process. And the truth of the matter is democracy works in America. ... What would be terrible is if people were frustrated and they didn't do anything.

On being the President during unexpected moments, such as 9/11:

Now, it's interesting that the presidency often turns out to be something you didn't expect. And I ...
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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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