After a not-entirely-successful effort on Monday to explain the vice president's hunting accident, press secretary Scott McClellan reloaded this morning and took aim at Dick Cheney himself.All kidding aside, I have two observations. One, so far no one seems too concerned about the possibility that the 78-year old Harry Whittington might not survive the shooting. It's one thing for comedians to make fun, but if I were the White House I'd wait until Whittington is out of the hospital before joining in.
President Bush, he announced, would be on the South Lawn with the national champion University of Texas football team. "The orange they're wearing is not because they are concerned that the vice president will be there," he deadpanned.
The reporters, so recently his tormenters, guffawed. "Although," he continued, pointing to his orange tie, "that's why I'm wearing it, so hopefully none of y'all will --''
If McClellan finished that thought, it was lost in more laughter.
Second, I do find it a little bizarre that Cheney hasn't issued any sort of statement that even hints at regret or an apology, at the very least a "he's in our prayers." This takes dodging responsibility to a whole new level. Any other normal, decent person would have at least said "I'm sorry" to both the person they shot and their family, right? Doesn't it seem odd not to do so in such a high-profile case? The White House has made official statements about the matter, how much extra work does it require to add a brief statement by Cheney? Maybe just a few nice words about the man and hope for a speedy recovery?
Whoah...just as I was writing this I read that Whittington has had a heart attack and has birdshot lodged in his heart. Not funny. The joke portion of this news story is now officially over.