Cheney and Biden

Whether Vice President Cheney served the President well is a matter of public dispute. But the current “debate” over the proper role of the VP is a bit ridiculous. And, as often happens with such debates, it mixes different topics into one murky cloud:

Mr. Biden said he believed that the advice and recommendations Mr. Cheney had given President Bush “has been not healthy for our foreign policy, not healthy for our national security, and it has not been consistent with our constitution, in my view.”

Well, if the advice was not good, then Cheney was a bad advisor. There’s nothing inconsistent “with our constitution” about bad advice.

While saying, of vice presidential powers, that “I think we should restore the balance here,” he [Biden] also declined to endorse a comment, attributed to an aide of his, that the office should be returned “to its historical role.”

And this is where Biden exposes his true feelings about Cheney and the Vice Presidency: he wants to benefit from the unpopularity of Cheney, pleasing the unhappy voters by promising more “balance.” But Biden is also a healthy politician, who likes power (nothing wrong with that). That’s why the “historical role”–namely, no power to Biden–is not an appealing prospect for him. So Biden is distancing himself from Cheney, while keeping open the possibility that he will wield Cheney-like powers.

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Cheney and Biden

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