Second Lady Lynne Cheney on Her New Book, Media's Treatment of Sarah Palin

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," September 15, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: She's authored five best-selling history books for children and helping make America's past come alive to its young readers. Her new book, "We the People: The Story of the Constitution," is in stores now. Joining us in our New York studio, New York Times best-selling author, Lynne Cheney.

Is it appropriate to say the second lady of the United States?


Watch Sean and Alan's interview

COLMES: It's weird.

CHENEY: Well, it is a little, but it's OK.

COLMES: Thank you very much for being here. So, let's talk about the book for a second, because this all takes place — you talked about what happened in 1787.

CHENEY: And this is Constitution Week, you know?


CHENEY: And Wednesday is Constitution Day, and we're celebrating the 221st anniversary of this amazing document.

COLMES: Right. And you make the point it's not enough just to have the independence, but you've got to have — you used the phrase "ordered liberty."

CHENEY: You know, when we were going through that period in Iraq where the people of Iraq had been freed but they were just having trouble getting their act together, I kept thinking back to you know, what America was like in our early days.

And we had our freedom, but we couldn't get a government that was strong enough to protect us and not so strong that we lost our liberty.

COLMES: You know, we have the big left-right thing going on in this country. I don't know if you're aware of that.

CHENEY: You and I do, that's for sure. Yeah!

COLMES: You used to host one of these type shows, too.

CHENEY: No, never.

COLMES: But anyway — what was it like back then? What was it like, the dichotomy, being the two sides, back then? Was it as...

CHENEY: It was...

COLMES: ... as fur flying as much as it is now?

CHENEY: Completely fierce! In fact, when the — I had a wonderful illustrator for this book, a man named Greg Harlan. And you know, we asked ourselves again and again, are these pictures too strong. Because the debates that were going on were quite fierce. Guvenor Morris was threatening everyone that there would be war if they couldn't agree. And there was a huge debate over slavery, of course.

COLMES: How did they work it out? How did they work out getting that document? It took, like, 11 years to get the Constitution done.

CHENEY: Well, you know, Benjamin Franklin played an absolutely crucial role. And one of my favorite pictures in the book is — he was very old. He couldn't get to the constitutional convention, so four convicts picked him up every day.

COLMES: Convicts?

CHENEY: And carried him in a sedan chair to the convention. But he was a wonderful moderator in terms of, you know, just kind of counseling the delegates and saying, "You know, we should just seek divine guidance, perhaps." They didn't. They didn't stop and pray, but telling them that they needed to think larger thoughts than the ones that were driving them to quarrel.


CHENEY: Hey, Sean.

HANNITY: ... first of all, congratulations on the book.

CHENEY: It's great to see you. Thank you.

HANNITY: We appreciate you being with us.

You know, what I love about our framers and our founders, is and especially the framers of our Constitution, they put in place the ability to right wrongs and correct injustices.

CHENEY: Right there in the document.

HANNITY: Right there in the document.

CHENEY: You couldn't have voted if you were a woman, of course. You couldn't have even owned property when the — when the Constitution was framed. The country had slavery, of course, and the Constitution, as it was framed, did nothing to prevent that.

But in the course of putting that document together, the framers made a way for us to right those wrongs.

HANNITY: And we're seeing in this election...

CHENEY: So our country.

Oh, this is the most remarkable election. This is a great time to teach kids about the Constitution. That's what you spent your whole program doing, is arguing on the basis of the Constitution.

HANNITY: I'm right, and he's wrong.

COLMES: By his own admission.

HANNITY: But in all seriousness, first of all, were you as surprised as a lot of people about the selection of Governor Palin? What do you think of her?

CHENEY: Absolutely. I was completely surprised and just blown away by her convention speech. She — you see a lot of slick politicians. I've been around politics a long time. I've seen people who are really polished and careful and good. She was just excellent and kept that authenticity.

HANNITY: Do you think she's being treated unfairly because she's a woman?

CHENEY: Absolutely.

HANNITY: Explain why.

CHENEY: Well, has anyone asked Senator Obama if he perhaps is neglecting his children by spending too much time on the campaign trail? That's the kind of question that's put to Sarah Palin. And I think that's not fair.

Also, you know, an even better comparison might be what happened to Joe Biden, ever? Where is he now? You know, all of this attention...

HANNITY: He's out there screaming about John McCain. Now, by the way...

CHENEY: Well, I'm glad to know that he's still in the contest. That's so much focus on trying to find fault and flaw in Sarah Palin. It's just — it's quite remarkable.

HANNITY: By the way, there it is, "We the People." I put it on my Web site, It's a great book and a really great, you know, study for kids.

And thanks for being with us. We really appreciate it.

CHENEY: Thank you. I love being here.

HANNITY: Watch him on his radio show later.

CHENEY: I'll do that. And I'll watch you interview Governor Palin.

HANNITY: I will. And by the way, speaking of Governor Palin, I will sit down with the governor, coming up later this week on Wednesday, September 17 and Thursday, September 18.

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