This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," November 19, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.
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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Vice President Cheney's wife, Lynne Cheney, has released her third children's book. This one is called "When Washington Crossed the Delaware." Earlier, I sat down with Mrs. Cheney in her office, and I asked her why she chose this story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LYNNE CHENEY, WIFE OF VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: You know, it's one of those stories that has a beginning, middle and end. It's an adventure. You don't know how it's going to come out. It's got heroes and people who are fighting a difficult and uphill battle. So it has all the natural appeal of a good narrative.
Moreover, it's such a story about this country and about our beginnings. We were losing the Revolutionary War. We'd signed the Declaration of Independence in July. This is December, and the British have kicked us out of New York, all the way across New Jersey. Washington and his men have fled, really, across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania. The men had no shoes. They're marching with rags around their feet. They don't have adequate clothing for the weather. They don't have coats. They don't have tents. They don't have blankets.
There's this one wonderful quotation that's in the book where a soldier says, we slept that night without tent or blankets. And they're amongst the leaves, as he described it. So it was a terrible, terrible circumstance. And Washington did an amazing thing. He decided to go on the offense.
VAN SUSTEREN: It's sort of interesting. In reading it, I was a little bit ashamed how little I knew. And it hearkens back to our discussion how little people pay attention to history. I'm an adult, should know a lot more about it than I do. History's your thing, isn't it, to try to get kids to learn it.
CHENEY: I do. And I appreciate your letting me talk about it every once in a while. And you do a good job, I think, of promoting historical literacy. Kids don't know enough about it, and partly, the reason is — none of us do — is we too seldom understand what a good story it is. When people say history, I think, a lot of us say, Oh, that's just a bunch of names and dates and places, and it's dry and I'm not so interested. But then when you really get into the stories, it is just a fascinating way to spend time and to learn more about this country.
VAN SUSTEREN: You've been on buses for the last, I don't know, six or eight months on and off — not always. Did you learn anything talking to the American people on those bus tours?
CHENEY: You know, it's just wonderful to get out and campaign. You know, the bus tour is a wonderful way to do it, but just going to rallies, talking to people — Dick and I did a lot of town hall meetings. It's great to get out of Washington.
I think that the kind of Washington-New York axis is different from the rest of the country. Out there, I actually hear people say, Thank you for what you're doing. You know, not that I think I need to be thanked, but it's such a different attitude toward public life than the one that I so often experience here. It's a real recognition that somebody has to do it, and we're glad you're doing it, people will say. Or people will say, we're praying for you. It's totally non-cynical, which I think you get a lot of cynicism when you're kind of in the corridor of power. It's probably healthy that you do, but it's also quite wonderful to get out there where people really talk about how they've got their hopes invested in you. And you feel a great responsibility but also a great energy as a result of that.
VAN SUSTEREN: What's the most inspiring part of campaigning?
CHENEY: The people that you see and meet. Dick often would sit around a table in a little restaurant somewhere, and maybe 10 people would come and talk to him. It was, I suppose, most inspiring of all when we talked to someone who had just served in Iraq or Afghanistan and had come back and had come to talk to the vice president or — you know, we'd have parents, sisters, wives come meet us at the plane.
You know, you heard a lot here about how things were going wrong, but when you talk to people who've actually been there, who are serving, you heard a lot about what had gone right and a real commitment to the mission. Sometimes we would meet parents whose — who had lost a son in Iraq, it was. I can't think of meeting someone who'd lost a son in Afghanistan. But they were always so firm in the idea that the way to make that sacrifice meaningful was to complete the mission we were on. And I was enormously touched that they would come and want to talk to Dick about that.
VAN SUSTEREN: So where do you think that, I mean, this is going to lead us? I mean, do you think that in six months or eight months, we'll see, you know, a tremendous difference in that country, or do you think this'll be very slow?
CHENEY: Well, I think that having elections, as we've planned on doing, as the president has said he's committed to doing, that having elections will represent a kind of watershed. I think what you're seeing right now is just a frantic effort to keep that from happening on the part of those who oppose the idea of democracy and elections in Iraq.
There was this interesting letter from Zarqawi to bin Laden that was made public maybe as long ago as a year, and in it, Zarqawi talked about how he and those who believed as he did would find their cause impossible once the Iraqis were governing themselves.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well, the book is, "When Washington Crossed the Delaware." It's a terrific book, not just for children, great Christmas present. And I thank you very much for talking to us today.
CHENEY: Great to talk to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Tune in on Thanksgiving night for more of our interview with Mrs. Cheney.
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