Vice President Dick Cheney Convention Speech

Dick Cheney was very much Dick Cheney tonight. The contrast between the fiery Zell Miller and the calm, quiet Cheney was stark. He did what the number two man does in convention speeches: praising the boss and taking shots at the opposition. Some of the jabs at Kerry were unfair, of course, but then they always are.

Perhaps the most devasting line was that a Senator, one of a hundred votes, can be wrong for twenty years without consequence but a President always casts the deciding vote.

The funniest line of the night was the best variation on the “Two Americas” spiel yet: “John Kerry sees two Americas. It’s a mutual thing: America sees two John Kerrys.”

Great stuff.

The transcript: Text of Dick Cheney’s Speech at the RNC (AP)

Indeed, the two lines were back-to-back:

In his years in Washington, John Kerry has been one of a hundred votes in the United States Senate and very fortunately on matters of national security, his views rarely prevailed. But the presidency is an entirely different proposition. A senator can be wrong for 20 years, without consequence to the nation. But a president, a president always casts the deciding vote. And in this time of challenge, America needs and America has a president we can count on to get it right.

On Iraq, Senator Kerry has disagreed with many of his fellow Democrats. But Senator Kerry’s liveliest disagreement is with himself. His back-and-forth reflects a habit of indecision, and sends a message of confusion. And it is all part of a pattern. He has, in the last several years, been for the No Child Left Behind Act and against it. He has spoken in favor of the North American Free Trade Agreement and against it. He is for the Patriot Act and against it. Senator Kerry says he sees two Americas. It makes the whole thing mutual — America sees two John Kerrys.

Around the Blogosphere:

    Steven Taylor picks out the same two lines. Shocking!

    Kevin Aylward says the bloggers in NYC gave it rave reviews.

    Bryan S. notes Cheney’s lack of charisma. (So does Cheney.)

    Steve Bainbridge points to some well-worn Cheney lines and draws parallels with Al Bundy–favorably, I think.

Update: WaPo has the video feed.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Peaktalk says:

    This is going to be interesting stuff, a Democrat keynoting at the RNC. 1. Future is the key, family more important than party, that’s interesting. Bush endorsed. 2. Where’s the bipartisanship? The nation is divided because of a manic obsession

  2. Cheney’s Master Stroke
    Dick Cheney took the stage and thanked the delagates for his nomination as Vice President. This of course was a formality, however it is the tradition of the Republican Party and this convention has kept to traditional ways as much as possible. Joking …

  3. Cheney’s Speech
    I wouldn’t be Cassandra if I didn’t go against the conventional wisdom. And I’m sure my incredibly wise and penetrating observations are fated to be ignored. There’s a reason they always save the best for last. As much as I

  4. angelweave says:

    The Single Best Line – Dick Cheney
    Dick Cheney and his speechwriters sure got me to laugh last night. On Iraq, Senator Kerry has disagreed with many of his fellow Democrats. But Senator Kerry’s liveliest disagreement is with himself. His back-and-forth reflects a habit of indecision, a…

  5. As Zell Miller prepares to speak…
    … I cannot help but wonder why the Democrats did not give similar prominence at their convention to Jim Jeffords…

    Update: Brit Hume categorized Miller’s speech as “strong medicine”. Mort Kondrake said that it is about 120% strong, and comes v…

  6. PoliBlog says:

    Bite-Sized Toast: Day Three
    Bite-Size Toast: A Supplement to this week’s Toast-o-meter


    If the first rule of Fight Club is that you don’t talk about Fight Club, it may be that I can’t say much about last night, because the gloves came off …