The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Four more years?

Cheney announces ’04 intentions at Tate lecture
 Four more years?
Four more years?

Four more years?

Vice President Dick Cheney will be on the ticket for President Bush’s reelection campaign in 2004.

The vice president made the announcement while delivering the Dan and Gail Cook Lecture as part of the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series on May 6.

“The president has asked me if I would serve again as his running mate,” he told a sold-out crowd at McFarlin Auditorium. “[Pres. Bush] has the ability to use the power of the presidency to achieve dramatic results.”

Since Sept. 11, the Bush administration has fundamentally shifted the foundation for American foreign policy, and Cheney has played a fundamental role in this process, he said.

“Most vice presidents are picked to bind wounds in the party, buy off an adversary or pick up a key state. Pres. Bush was looking for someone to advise him,” he said. “There are no wilting flowers in this administration. We’re a very experienced group of people with strong wills.”

From the Bush doctrine (the policy that asserts that any nation that harbors terrorist organizations is as guilty as the terrorists themselves) to preemptive strikes in Iraq, the administration has discouraged the reactive attitude that administration officials say characterized the Clinton administration’s foreign policy.

“Defense is not good enough. The only way to be safe and maintain our open society is to go on offense and eliminate terrorists before they eliminate us,” Cheney said. “Sept. 11 was a watershed dividing line. Everything that comes after looks different than it did before.”

In the past, he said, America has generally been slow to anger. The nation has only wholeheartedly committed forces after a great provocation.

“We went through a period of time in the latter half of the 20th century where there were a number of attacks against American interests and there was no real response,” he said. “We’ve concluded, now, that it may be in our best interests to move first. That’s a radical departure.”

It’s a departure that Cheney believes has succeeded to the nation’s benefit and will help Bush’s election chances in 2004.

However, Cheney is uncertain about the current status of Bush’s promise to kill or capture Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. The vice president said that he believes Osama bin Laden is still alive.

“He’s the head of a decentralized organization and an ascetic,” he said. “He’s used to living in the mountains.”

In contrast, Cheney believes that American forces in Iraq were successful in killing Saddam Hussein.

After the first night of heavy bombing in Baghdad on March 19, the Oval Office received intelligence that Hussein had to be dug out of the rubble and sent away in an ambulance, Cheney said.

“We’ve heard testimony saying he’s still alive. We’ve heard testimony saying he’s still dead. The most accurate answer is we don’t know, but we will find out,” he said.

Last week, CBS Evening News reported that there was no bunker at the Dora Farms location where the first night’s bombing was centralized. Quoting a U.S. Army colonel in charge of inspecting key sites in Baghdad, the network reported that no bodies or evidence of a bunker was found.

“Nevertheless, the man is not Osama bin Laden. He would find it difficult to go from those palaces to a cave,” Cheney said.

Cheney is eager to work with the current administration for another four years to continue the war on terrorism.

“If you go to the Middle East and look at what the United States has done, you have to know that the president is a man of his word and he will keep it,” he said.

Prior to the lecture, SMU President R. Gerald Turner announced that the event would be considered off the record, and photographers were forbidden until SMU officials and White House staff made a decision less than an hour before the event to let them in briefly.

The lecture format featured Cheney being interviewed by Time Washington correspondent Hugh Sidey.

Cheney served as a member of the university’s board of trustees from 1996 to 2000. The vice president, a former resident of Highland Park, has previously appeared in two Tate Lectures in 1994 and 1999 to discuss business ethics.

During the evening, Vice President Cheney responded to a number of questions on other issues. Here are some of the highlights:

Corporate Scandals
“I don’t think we give as much credence as we should to corporate governance. The focus is on malfeasance. I think we’ve weathered the worst of the problems.”

Tax Cuts
“Tax policy is the quickest and best way to build incentives that create jobs and spur economic growth. It’s important we focus on the long-term horizon, not next quarter or next year.”

Getting Started
“My first political job was as an intern in the Wyoming Legislature where I worked for 90 days as a gopher. The internships I picked up in college led to my political career.”

Wife, Lynne Cheney
“We have a Republican marriage. If it hadn’t have been for Eisenhower’s victory in ’52, my dad would never have been transferred from Lincoln, Neb. to Casper, Wyo. With the Agriculture Department’s revamp, Lynne would have married someone else.”

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