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August 8th, 2008
01:59 PM ET

Cheney speaking at Republican Convention after all

Ed Henry
White House Correspondent

Seeking to head off an ugly confrontation with conservatives, John McCain's campaign has decided to invite Vice President Dick Cheney to give a speech at the Republican National Convention after all.

Conservatives had been grumbling about a potential Cheney snub ever since word leaked Monday about the rare possibility of the sitting Vice President not attending his own party's convention.

A Republican official had told CNN there was a "mutual understanding" between the White House and the convention planners that Cheney was "unlikely" to attend because the McCain camp wants to turn the page on the Bush years.

Allies of the Vice President were trying to soften any talk of embarrassment by noting Cheney's schedule is pretty packed with potential travel anyway, so he might not be able to make the trek to St. Paul anyway. (The old "scheduling conflict" alibi was all ready to be rolled out).

But then the conservative editorial page of the Wall Street Journal intervened, chastising McCain for not giving Cheney at least a moment in the bright lights of the convention just as the Senator tries to rev up the Republican base. After all, Cheney's approval ratings may be down in the pumps, but trust me he's still a rock star in conservative circles who roar with approval when he shows up for rubber-chicken dinners in rural counties.

Still, it's a tough balancing act for the McCain camp. Some advisers have feared that showcasing an unpopular Veep will alienate independent voters who will obviously play a pivotal role in the general election, so now they've found a compromise of sorts.

Cheney spokeswoman Megan Mitchell told me Cheney will speak at the convention. "The Vice President looks forward to participating in the Republican National Convention and continuing to work for the election of Senator McCain and other Republican candidates in the coming months," she said.

Final details are still being worked out, but the likely spot will be on Monday, the first day of the convention. That's the same day President Bush will address the delegates.

Then Bush and Cheney will leave St. Paul and McCain has three full to take the reigns of the Republican Party for real with his own new running mate.


Filed under: John McCain • Raw Politics • Vice President
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Dr.Namwanja Paul -Uganda.www.acmco.net

    Its not Vice President Dick Cheney to save the situation in the John McCain’s bid for US presidency, because Americans, just like the world at large, see the vice president directly related to all failures of the outgoing Republican administration, which in one way or another, Democrats have used in campaigns to convince the voters as shown so far in opinion polls. At the same time, many US voters have every reason(s), to be part of the history soon to be made, before end of this year and by that i think they are already in the democrat camp waiting for voting time and therefore, little can be done from the Republican camp for a reasonable switch of support from a democratic to a Republican base.

    August 9, 2008 at 7:25 am |
  2. Annie Kate

    I can't stand Cheney or Bush but I do respect the offices of the VP and President. Not inviting one or the other or both to the convention to speak would be a sign of abject disrespect for the very office McCain is running for. Its just a speech – if you don't want to hear it get ear plugs or switch the channel for the time period he is on.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    August 8, 2008 at 9:47 pm |
  3. Lamont Austin

    Cheney is talking, WOWWWW!!! do you know ive met people who dont know who the vice president is or what he looks like, he's the most undercover vp ive ever seen, i really feel a major scandal will come out regarding him in the future.

    ARIZONA RON FROM TUCSON

    August 8, 2008 at 8:37 pm |
  4. KJ

    Free speech is a wonderful thing. However, I am so sick of hearing everyone crying about Bush. I am an Independant voter and the more I hear everyone whine about Bush and Cheney the more I want to vote for McCain. I would much rather have a Bulldog protecting my country then a peace and love kind of toy puppy.

    August 8, 2008 at 7:36 pm |
  5. Meg

    Is that quail out there?

    August 8, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  6. lampe

    I really think Democrats, should worry about whats going to happen at The DNC Convention, and not be worried about whats happening, or whose speaking at The Republican Convention. Seems to me they are not the ones , that are having the trouble bringing their party together. Maybe McCain should have made the speech Obama made about bringing everyone together, cause it doesn't seem to be working so well for Obama.

    August 8, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  7. deborah, OH

    Now the Rep. convention gets more interesting, & fun.

    Why would ANYONE want him to speak ANYWHERE?

    August 8, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  8. Lisa

    Guess McCain isn't such a maverick afterall. Still courting those conservative voters to the dismay of independents. Despite what he says, at least we still know who is in charge of the Republican party. How anyone can view the 8 years of Bush II's presidency as anything but an utter failure is a mystery to me. But apparently some see it as a success and their voices must be heard. I guess the GOP won't be heading too far left of the far right afterall.

    August 8, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  9. Sharon from Indy

    The question is... does anyone really want to see or hear from Vice President Dick Cheney at the Republican Convention? Or is this a courtesy from John McCain? Or is this another attempt for the neo-conservatives to flex their apparently weakening arms in the McCain camp?

    August 8, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  10. Dave

    The last thing McCain needs is to have that clown speak. NO ONE CARES FOR DICK CHENEY. I think this will hurt his chance to become president because lots of people like me don't like Cheney.

    August 8, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  11. Christopher Williams Bennett

    Whether You see them as a rock or a ballon it is only when the pair come together that the balance is offset. The most important word or result of a cause in Government is and forever will be Apathy, which is why it is the first word drawn to the board in my particular and most persuasive class of social studies. Some men and women may want more than a K-12 Education to see the light of night in the forest and the shadows of day on the high seas just know that some do not need! One must look deeply into the eyes of any candidate these days to see from where he or she once came and where they wish to proceed with our blessed Democracy. Good Will hunting used to be much easier in the south yet it seems as though the socialist ways of a sarcastic state have crept and tried to find a peaceful meadow. Everywhere I go everyday I see that of which most affected me, the ongoing displacancy of beaurocracy! I am a study a prodigy of time proof in my writing and with hope soon will be Jeffersons lines. Check the names check the settings for a trail that was once Oregon is the way of letting! Whom was it that bonded so clearly with the French that also helped you with your Bench! Anywho enough about my bloodline, just a bit of advice don't think twice!

    P.S. Hurry Our Land Is Again Spliced

    August 8, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  12. Cindy

    I figured that they would have Cheney speak at the convention. I mean what's the use not too unless they didn't have Bush there either, and you know that wouldn't happen.

    Just because they speak at the convention doesn't mean that McCain backs everything that they do or say. If everyone that he didn't agree with didn't come then half of the Reps Congressmen wouldn't be there.

    Cindy..Ga.

    August 8, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  13. JC- Los Angeles

    Is the Republican National Convention taking place in Haliburton Stadium? That's the only logical conclusion I can come up with for this abject disasters inclusion.

    August 8, 2008 at 2:17 pm |