Cheney's "Complicated" Excuse

Friday, February 17, 2006

Cheney's "Complicated" Excuse

There was one point of his exclusive interview with Dick Cheney that even Brit Hume seemed skeptical of the vice president's explanation. One of the reasons Cheney gave for delaying any public disclosure about the shooting was that telling the story would have been "complicated."

Here was the exchange:
HUME: Well, did it occur to you that sooner was -- I mean, the one thing that we've all kind of learned over the last several decades is that if something like this happens, as a rule sooner is better.

CHENEY: Well, if it's accurate. If it's accurate. And this is a complicated story.

HUME: But there were some things you knew. I mean, you knew the man had been shot, you knew he was injured, you knew he was in the hospital, and you knew you'd shot him.

CHENEY: Correct.
In other words, this wasn't such a complicated story. And, even if it was, the press is used to covering complicated stories.

For Christ's sake, Cheney is our vice president. His job is all about proposing and discussing complicated issues -- taxes, nuclear proliferation, international trade, energy policy, etc. If he doesn't feel comfortable talking to the press about complicated issues, why the hell is he serving as vice president?

Perhaps that's why Bush holds prime-time press conferences so rarely: he doesn't feel comfortable discussing "complicated" issues. In his case (not Cheney's), it's a believable excuse.

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