- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 14, 2009

EXCLUSIVE:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter, who has emerged as a fierce critic of President Obama’s foreign and national security policies, said Monday that she is seriously considering a run for political office.

“It’s something I very well may do,” Elizabeth “Liz” Cheney told The Washington Times’ “America’s Morning News” radio show.

Ms. Cheney, 42, a lawyer and State Department appointee who worked on the 2008 Republican presidential campaign, has attracted national attention as a chief defender of the George W. Bush administration’s policies -strongly endorsed by her father - on enhanced interrogation methods.

Ms. Cheney said calls for a congressional probe into reports that her father ordered the CIA to hide information from Congress appear to be an attempt by Capitol Hill Democrats to give political cover to embattled House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, has faced withering Republican criticism since accusing the CIA in May of lying to her about the enhanced interrogation program, which critics have called torture.

Republicans have demanded that Mrs. Pelosi either produce supporting evidence or apologize. The speaker has refused to revisit the issue, and some liberal Democrats say revelations last week of more undisclosed covert operations give the speaker’s charges new credibility.

“It gets more and more appalling every day,” Ms. Cheney said. “I think they’re very worried about Speaker Pelosi.”

Ms. Cheney also has taken issue with Mr. Obama’s foreign policy stance that, she said, undermines the U.S. stature in the world and emboldens the nation’s enemies.

Her newfound role as an outspoken critic of the Obama administration has led Republicans to consider her a strong candidate for national political office.

In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece Monday, she said Mr. Obama’s tendency to defer to the viewpoints of foreign powers was effectively “disarming” the United States, citing a Moscow speech he gave last week that, she wrote, argued for a moral equivalence between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Ms. Cheney, who lives in Virginia with her husband, former Homeland Security Department General Counsel Philip Perry, said her immediate interests are raising her five children and helping her father write his memoirs.

Her younger sister, Mary Cheney, also has played a role in politics, serving as Mr. Cheney’s director of vice-presidential operations for the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. But Mary Cheney has garnered more media attention for her homosexual orientation.

Liz Cheney, who holds a law degree from the University of Chicago, was deputy secretary for Near Eastern affairs in President Bush’s first term. She left to work on her father’s 2004 re-election campaign, but returned in 2005 in an expanded post as a deputy secretary for economic and political affairs in the Near and Middle East as well as in North Africa.

She also worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development and for a private practice in international law.

“I’ve spent a lot of time promoting democracy around the world,” Ms. Cheney said on the radio show. “It has made me really grateful for our system and has given me a real understanding of how important it is to participate.”

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