When a person acts like they’re hiding something, they’re usually hiding something. And I think Cheney is hiding something: drinking.
In his Fox interview Wednesday, “Shooter” (as opposed to his old aide Scooter) was asked if anybody in his hunting group had been drinking. Cheney said: “No, you don’t hunt with people who drink. That’s not a good idea.”
But a few minutes later in the interview, Cheney said he had “a beer at lunch.”
Now, maybe Cheney is the kind of disciplined fellow who attends an outdoor barbeque with old friends and stops at one beer. But, looking at his girth and knowing his health history, I’m skeptical.
I’m doubly skeptical about his explanation of why he handled the release of the story the way he did. Instead of using the White House’s vaunted and expensive press operation, he let his Texas socialite hostess release it to a local reporter she knew.
Why the long delay? Cheney said in the interview it was because “this was a complicated story.”
Well, by now it certainly is.
And here is how the designated spokeswoman, Katharine Armstrong, handled the complicated story:
• At first she tried to swift-boat the shooting victim by implying he was to blame for getting shot.
• Then she was adamant that nobody had been drinking. She said only Dr. Pepper had been served at lunch. (Although Shooter somehow found something stronger.) Asked by the “friendly” local press whether anybody had been drinking, she said: “No, zero, zippo, and I don’t drink at all. No one was drinking.”
No one except Dick. And just one beer, you understand.
It reminds me of a friend of mine, a lawyer in Greensboro. He was appointed to defend a ne’er-do-well fellow accused of public drunkenness.
On the court date, a parade of similar cases was being heard. And each defendant told the same story: He’d only had “two beers.”
Finally the judge lost his patience. “The next defendant who tells me he just had two beers is getting active time in jail,” he announced.
Sure enough, my friend’s client was called next. Asked how much he’d had to drink, he paused and said, “Well, it may have been one beer – or it may have been three beers. But it damned sure wasn’t two beers.”