In Thursday’s vice presidential debate, Gov. Sarah Palin said she “agrees” with Dick Cheney’s expansive view of the power of the executive branch and the vice presidency:
PALIN: I do agree with him that we have a lot of flexibility in there, that we’ll do what we have to do to administer very appropriately the plans that are needed for this nation.
Interviewed on CNN today, the Washington Post’s Barton Gellman, author of a new biography of Cheney’s vice presidency, said that the idea of “flexibility” for the VP is a signature Cheney idea:
GELLMAN: Well, it sounded like Dick Cheney could have written that description. The idea of “flexibility” on the one hand and “do what we have to do,” those are two of the watch words of a man who believes in executive supremacy and believes that other branches of government and the public actually cannot restrict the executive.
Gellman added that Cheney could very well be a role model for a Palin vice presidency:
BLITZER: What I hear you saying, if she were vice president she would, you see Dick Cheney as a role model, is that what you are saying?
GELLMAN: Yeah. Well, what you aspire to do and what you can do are two different things. It came from a relationship with the very specific president and came from his own enormous experience and skill.
Cheney has taken the powers of the office of the vice presidency to dangerous levels. He has taken the lead in shaping both domestic and foreign policy, and he has shown he “does not care about trampling on the Constitution.” And yet, during her interview with Katie Couric, the only negative thing Palin could say of Cheney was that he accidentally shot his friend in the face.