Lynne Cheney Talks with Hannity

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," Jan. 19, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Now, are you excited about the festivities that are the coming?


HANNITY: How many balls will you eventually go to?

CHENEY: Twelve? However many there are.

HANNITY: You go to all of them?

CHENEY: We go to all of them.

HANNITY: OK. And you dance at all of them?

CHENEY: That's right. And Dick is a terrific dancer.

HANNITY: He is a good dancer?

CHENEY: Well, we -- it's not something we spend a lot of time doing, but we have been doing it a lot of years.

HANNITY: Have you run through the history of past inaugurations?

CHENEY: A little. You know, I certainly haven't looked at every one. But it's a really important time for our country, because I think it is a time when it's not about one president. It's about the presidency.

HANNITY: While there's a big celebration going on, I think we've got evidence that some of the contentious battles that were waged during the campaign with now coming to the fore. I think we saw some of that yesterday. Did you get a chance to watch any of Condoleezza Rice, Dr. Rice's hearings?

CHENEY: I did. And you're right. Some of those issues are coming back. But I also have been sort of thinking to myself how many issues there are that seem to be issues on November 2 that sort of just like fell off the cliff on November 3.

HANNITY: For example?

CHENEY: Well, Tora Bora. Remember that was very big on November 2, is whatever happened at Tora Bora. Has anybody mentioned it since? I don't think so. I don't know.

The weapons that weren't secured, whatever the title of that particular issue was. November 2, it was huge. Have you heard about it since?

So politics does push a lot of things to the fore that I think in retrospect turn out not to be important. But there are some important and contentious issues that we will continue to deal with, and I think I saw Secretary Rice handle them beautifully yesterday.

HANNITY: You take it in stride. You understand that's part of the political world. Is it harder -- for example, Senator Boxer, I thought, was particularly harsh with Dr. Rice yesterday. She said, quote...


SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: I personally believe, this is my personal view, that your loyalty to the mission you were given to sell this war overwhelmed your respect for the truth.


HANNITY: That's very harsh.

CHENEY: I thought that secretary-designate Rice was exactly right to come back and say, look, we need to have discussions about the important issues of war and peace that we're facing. But in the course of having them, please, Senator, do not impugn my integrity. That was exactly right, and I could sort of hear people cheering all across the country.

HANNITY: I wish I had that ability with Alan sometimes. I thought it was the perfect answer in a contentious situation.

But I think in the last week in particular, we've been reminded that there is -- there is a divide.


HANNITY: Senator Kennedy had some very harsh words just in the last week, comparing Iraq, saying this is George Bush's Vietnam. Does it still get under your skin a little bit?

CHENEY: No, no. I mean, Senator Kennedy, you know, he's one of those guys that sort of missed the election maybe, you know, and the issues that he was...

HANNITY: I'm going to tell him you said that.

CHENEY: ... complaining so vociferously about. His complaints aren't as measured in reason as I think would be helpful in advancing the debate.

HANNITY: The -- there are a lot of issues in the forefront that we're going to be debating, big issues: Social Security, partial privatization. You begin again. Did the last four years go quickly for you? Do you anticipate...

CHENEY: In the blink of an eye.

HANNITY: Really.

CHENEY: It's just astonishing. Well, in some ways, that you know, it just seems as though it happened so quickly.

But in another way, you know, you look back and you think that we entered that four years before September 11, and that seems almost impossible. We live in such a post-September 11 world now, it's hard to go back to those days when things were different.

HANNITY: Is it harder being on the inside, knowing the real nature of the threat? You know more than most Americans, because you're in the middle of these debates. You know what security risks are really out there.

CHENEY: I suspect I worry just about like every mother and grandmother in the country. You know, you just pray every day for the safety and well being of those that you love and for the safety of this great country.

HANNITY: Yes. As we go forward with debates like Social Security, is this something that you think is a good thing that we're taking on now? You keep hearing the Democrats say we're not going to go broke for another 50 years.

CHENEY: Well, isn't that interesting. I never heard that before. I thought everyone had pretty much agreed that this is a system in crises, that in 2018, you know, it's going to be paying out more than it's taking in. This is the definition of crisis.

And it is kind of interesting to see the Democrats suddenly deciding that it isn't a crises, because my kids, who are in their 30's, know that Social Security won't be there for them unless the president does something.

It takes a great deal of political courage. This president has it. I think he showed us in the last four years that he's not afraid of big challenges and this is one he is taking on.

HANNITY: Newt Gingrich suggested the other night on "Hannity & Colmes" that, in spite of what your husband has said, that he might one day run for president. Do you agree with that?

CHENEY: Gosh I thought Newt said he was running for president. Did I get that wrong?

HANNITY: Well, there was a little talk of that, too. But he seriously said, and he said, I might be a minority, but I believe that there is a possibility in '08 that Vice President Cheney could get in the race.

CHENEY: Well, this is a secret that the vice president hasn't shared with me. In fact, we've been a little nostalgic, thinking that, you know, 2004 was our last campaign.

People do complain about campaigning and they sort of sympathize and say, "How can you stand it?" But you know, it's really wonderful to travel all across this country and to understand how people have their hopes pinned on you, to see how many good people there are in this country who, you know, wish the best. And I -- 2004 was our last campaign, and I think we will both miss that.

HANNITY: I remember in particular getting off the bus with your husband, and we were in Ohio, just on a rural road, and there were -- it was at a Bible college, if you remember.

CHENEY: I remember that.

HANNITY: And there were a bunch of students, administrators, that came out to meet your husband, and your husband said, "Yes, pull over. Let's stop."

And I remember, so many of them kept saying to him, "We're praying for you. We're praying for you. We're praying for you."

CHENEY: I think that was probably the commonest thing people said in rope lines. And every single time I heard it, it touched my heart.

HANNITY: Yes. And the sincerity is just as clear as day.

CHENEY: Exactly.

HANNITY: So I guess maybe then if you don't think he's going to run, he hasn't shared that with you, maybe perhaps you would have political aspirations one day.

CHENEY: Well, that hadn't occurred to me either. I plan to keep writing books. And I appreciate the opportunities you've given me to come on “Hannity & Colmes” and talk about my children's books.

HANNITY: We're going to be watching now tomorrow night, you and the vice president will be doing the tango. And we expect a rose.

CHENEY: Exactly. Then I will toss it into the audience at the end.

HANNITY: Mrs. Cheney, thank you for your time. Always good to see you. Thank you very much.

CHENEY: Nice to see you, Sean.

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