One glance at the cover jacket to Dick Cheney’s memoir, In My Time, tells all we need to know about the substance and spirit of the book within: It’s a full-color photograph of the author astride the royal red carpet that presidents since Ronald Reagan have used on entering the White House East Room for a televised news conference.
Same old Cheney, delusional as ever. This, remember, was the Vice President who thought nothing of using a motorcade of eighteen vehicles, sirens blaring, to go to his White House office – a distance of only two miles – every morning; who attended a Chesapeake Bay reception surrounded by a contingent of seventy armed Secret Service agents, with a hovering helicopter and three motorized boats circling the water in the event Osama bin Laden managed to slip a suicide submarine past the Coast Guard to launch a dirty bomb.
More reminders? How about the full-moon paranoia of the Vice President hunkered down each night at an “undisclosed location” while the President himself had no problem putting in eight hours’ sleep at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? Or the Vice President’s refusing to show up for the 2002 State of the Union address because, he explained, there was high-risk, post-9/11, in the President and Vice President’s being in the same building at the same time.
But of course. Given the possibility of al Qaeda’s slipping past the Army, Navy, Air Force, Secret Service and FBI to bomb the Capitol, we’d need a back-up plan if the President, Congress, Cabinet and Supreme Court were wiped out. Comforting to know, President Cheney would be on the phone (at some undisclosed location), telling Air Force One where to pick him up.