Common Sense

The Cheney World

In one picture, a tiny little girl looms over her grandfather, standing on a table behind him. In another the same granddad lies in a hammock with another grand daughter. Both smiling as if in another world — their world.

This is Cheney world.

And ahead of my interview with the vice president this week, I perused his wife's office, where we sat down to talk.

It's chock-full of pictures of grandkids — just grandkids. Smiling, laughing, meddling — being kids with a guy just being a grandfather.

It is not the Dick Cheney the world sees. But on this day, it is what I see.

Some politicians love showing this stuff. John Kennedy made his family the focal point of his public life.

Dick Cheney does not. He shares the joys with those who matter, I'm thinking not the relentless press corp that does not.

So we never see those pictures — likely, never will.

I remember interviewing a hard charging, reportedly ruthless CEO in his office some years back, and the walls were filled with goofy shots of a very different man in goofy hats and goofy poses having goofy fun times with kids who mattered, hidden from a critical media that did not.

I suspect when Dick Cheney says he doesn't much care what a critical media says, he means it. His priorities are elsewhere. It's not in the nuances in his interviews. It's in something else: the pictures on his walls.

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