- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 2, 2009


He is on message, steady of gaze and dead serious. Former Vice President Dick Cheney is on the public radar in full warrior mode, on a mission to identify the follies of Justice Department proposals to investigate CIA interrogation practices. It’s all politically motivated and ultimately poses a risk to the nation’s security, Mr. Cheney says.

His words have caused much rustling about among his critics. Why, he’s so visible. He’s so talkative. It must mean, they reason, that Mr. Cheney is in the throes of reinvention - tweaking his personal brand and shucking the old Darth Vader image in favor of something that will play well in the press, sell books or put him on the Republican ticket for 2012.

“Mr. Cheney is not changing his brand. Oh, no, no, no. He’s defending it. He’s not rebranding himself, because he has always been consistent. And what has Mr. Cheney been? He has been as American as apple pie. Someone implies that he’s abandoning that, and this is a man who will come out swinging,” John Tantillo, a marketing analyst and a Fox News contributor, tells Inside the Beltway.

“And he has come out swinging. Expect more of same,” Mr. Tantillo predicts.

Mr. Cheney has the public on his side, according to a Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted last month that found that 54 percent of Americans say a CIA investigation would endanger national security, while 29 percent said it would “help the image” of the U.S. abroad.


The raucous pro-life folks ejected from a recent town-hall meeting on health care reform hosted by Democrats Howard Dean and Rep. James P. Moran of Virginia, are only just getting started.

“We will not go peacefully into the good night. Now we plan to make life miserable for Congress,” Randall Terry tells Beltway.

The activist and founder of Operation Rescue will stage a two-week vigil outside the Cannon Office Building beginning Sept. 9 to protest health care reform that he says “pays for child killing.” Mr. Randall and his followers are also willing to be arrested.

“We’ll be at every entrance. We’ll be preaching and wearing Obama masks and carrying whips to get our message across. These health care reforms could have dire consequences,” Mr. Randall adds.


Yes. Admit you have at least a modicum of curiosity about Tom DeLay, now dancing his little pea-picking heart out for a Sept. 21 debut on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.”

Age: 62. Pounds lost: 17. Wearing stretch pants? Yes. Wearing sequins? No.

Doing the cha-cha? Sort of. Googled by his dance partner Cheryl Burke? Yes. Tweeting? Yes.

“Politics is showbiz, too,” Mr. DeLay says in his latest missive at the social network.


From our Way-to-Go Desk: The Republicans came, they saw, they made money for the locals. The 2008 Republican National Convention, held in Minneapolis/St. Paul just over a year ago, generated $170 million in “new money for the local economy” - exceeding the original $58 million projections. So says the city’s 2008 Host Committee, which released the figures Tuesday.

There was a surplus of nearly $7 million, which will be divided and donated to the Saint Paul Foundation, the Minneapolis Foundation and the Minnesota Community Foundation - along with computer equipment, clothing, office furniture and office supplies left over from the mammoth event.


Arnold Palmer, Sen. John McCain, former Sen. John W. Warner, Tony Curtis and Red Auerbach have won the honor. This year, it’s Yogi Berra; Leonard Lauder, chairman emeritus of the Estee Lauder Companies; and Frederick Smith - CEO of FedEx. We’re talking about the “Lone Sailor Award,” presented to veterans who have excelled in civilian careers, while holding fast to such Navy values as honor, courage and commitment. Mr. Berra and Mr. Lauder served in the Navy. Mr. Smith was a Marine.

“Our honorees are living examples of how service to country changes lives and helps develop leaders, whether it be in the world of sports, politics, government, the private sector or the arts,” says retired Rear Adm. Edward K. Walker Jr., president of the United States Navy Memorial.

The black-tie event will be Sept. 22 at the National Building Museum. Interested? Consult www.navymemorial.org for more information.


• 67 percent of Americans say health care reform is confusing.

• 60 percent say President Obama has not explained his plans for health care reform.

• 47 percent say the government would do a worse job providing medical coverage than private insurers.

• 47 percent say the government could hold down costs better than the private sector.

• 41 percent say town-hall protesters reflect views of “most Americans,” while 49 percent disagree.

Source: A CBS News poll of 1,097 adults conducted Aug. 27-31.

Ahoys, hoo-ahs, assorted announcements to jharper@washingtontimes.com or 202/636-3085.

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