George W. Bush's announcement that he has asked Dick Cheney to be his running mate is, in my mind, an excellent move--one that will additionally energize many camps within the Republican Party. Mr. Cheney, as his friends and co-workers have pointed out in recent days, is an intelligent, thorough, loyal, and visionary leader who would bring many elements of veteran direction to the White House. He is "direct and down to earth, without pretense," said Mr. Bush. Not surprisingly, Democratic apologists from the Gore camp quickly began demonizing Mr. Cheney. But, as conservative columnist Tony Blankley sagely noted, "They had trouble conjuring up, even wanly, opprobrious charges against this ultimate Washington gentleman." In addition, Mr. Cheney's wife, Lynn, is a wonderful and charming lady--a successful author and one-time CNN host. She would be a great addition to the White House. In addition, both of the Cheneys are vocally pro-life. Tactless political operatives will continue casting Mr. Cheney as a right-wing extremist with lingering health problems, but neither is true. I seriously doubt that he would tackle the tough campaign trail if his health were threatened, nor would Mrs. Cheney agree to this. In addition, I have no doubt that the Cheney's daughter, who is lesbian, will become a focal point of critics. It is ludicrous to judge a man based on one errant, but loved, family member. As I've said many times, if one of my children
announced to me they were homosexual, I would immediately embrace them and tell them my love for them would never fail--even though I disagreed with their life's choice. However, their choice would not affect my personal ministry, as it should not affect Mr. Cheney's ability to serve as vice president. In the weeks to come, Democratic operatives will be barking aimlessly about Mr. Cheney's past health problems, damning his association with "big oil" and focusing on this very private family circumstance. However, I believe most Americans will see that this is a compassionate and capable man who would help Mr. Bush reverse eight years of ineptitude and malevolence that has been a far cry from "the most ethical administration in history" that Mr. Clinton promised.
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