Gop Strategists To Cheney: Enough, AlreadyMay 13, 2009 20:39 Enough, already. That's the reaction of many Republicans to Dick Cheney's surge of media appearances to defend the Bush administration, especially on national security issues. "I don't think anybody would call him and say, 'Shut up.' It wouldn't work," says a GOP strategist who formerly advised Ronald Reagan. "He obviously feels that his work as vice president is under attack. But he is not our best spokesman." The concern among Republican strategists is that the public will think Cheney is speaking for the GOP, and this won't be helpful because the former vice president remains an unpopular figure across the country. Another prominent GOP strategist says Cheney should lower his visibility and give younger party leaders a chance to take the spotlight.
Meanwhile, White House officials are pleased that the abrasive Cheney is drawing so much attention. "The former vice president has made his views pretty clear, and the president has made his views pretty clear," an Obama adviser said today. "We had a big debate on this during the campaign, and the president sees it as a debate that has been resolved because the American people spoke so clearly [in the election]."
Cheney's reasoning for going public has become a favorite topic on the political circuit in Washington. Some of those who know Cheney well say he is motivated by a desire to defend his legacy as a principal architect of George W. Bush's national security policies that are under attack from the Obama administration and congressional Democrats—especially the waterboarding of suspected terrorists that President Obama has defined as torture.
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