By: E&P Staff
Ira Stoll admits that his paper’s pushing for Vice President Cheney to run for president several months ago was widely mocked. And he admits that a Washington Post pollster has pointed out that with a favorable rating of only 18%, Cheney is less popular than Michael Jackson and O.J. Simpson — after their trials. Yet he is standing by his man, and re-iterates today in the New York Sun that he hopes the Veep takes a look at the current GOP field and throws his hat in the ring.
Stoll, managing editor at the New York daily, uses a review of the new Stephen Hayes biography of Cheney to make this plea, claiming that the positive virtues revealed in the book proves his case.
“The book quotes Senator McCain as saying, ‘Dick doesn’t like campaigning.’ Nothing in the Hayes book suggests that Mr. Cheney is about to do it ? except for that the vice president spent nearly 30 hours cooperating with the author and apparently gave the okay for many of his friends and colleagues to grant similar access,” Stoll observes. “The Richard Cheney described in this book isn’t vain enough to do that simply for his reputation in history. My own guess ? okay, hope ? is that Mr. Cheney has taken a look at the Republican presidential field and sees an opening. If Iowa and New Hampshire Republicans start receiving copies of ‘Cheney’ in their mailboxes, Mr. Cheney’s popularity may yet begin to climb.”
Yet Stoll had opened his review by admitting it was an uphill fight:
“Of all the editorials The New York Sun has run, the one that attracted the most response was the one under the headline ‘Cheney’s Chance.’ The editorial, suggesting that Vice President Cheney would be an attractive presidential candidate who would bring a lot to the race, caused a furor in the blogosphere and led to the production of an entire segment on CNN. It also led to several dinner party conversations of friends or relatives of the editorial writer devoted to whether the writer had finally lost his mind.
“Well, finally there is a response to those who suggest that affection for Mr. Cheney is a sign of clinical insanity, or, at least, a response more printable than the one Mr. Cheney himself gave to Senator Leahy. It comes courtesy of Stephen Hayes….”
The April 4 editorial asking Cheney to join the race stated, among other things, that “for those of us who are concerned with extending Mr. Bush’s campaign for freedom around the world and cutting taxes at home, a Cheney campaign is attractive.”