March 19, 2004
Cheney At The Reagan Library
Unless embarassingly awful -- as with Dan Quayle's "What A Waste It Is To Lose One's Mind" oration and everything Spiro Agnew ever said -- vice presidential speeches are usually relegated to history's behind-the-mall metal dumpster.
Not so with Dick Cheney's speech at the Reagan Library last Wednesday.
Appropriately, the veep opened with a tip o' the hat to President Reagan. Ronald Reagan, he said, "had a basic awareness of good and evil that made him a champion of human freedom, and the greatest foe of the greatest tyranny of his time. The Cold War ended as it did, not by chance, not by some inevitable progression of events: It ended because Ronald Reagan was President of the United States."
Just a moment while I applaud.
Then, after touting America's successes in the war on terrorism, the vice president turned his attention to John Kerry's fondness for waffles. And, yowza!, it was a good ol' fashioned skewering.
It's tough to pick just one excerpt, but here goes:
Senator Kerry has also had a few things to say about support for our troops now on the ground in Iraq. Among other criticisms, he has asserted that those troops are not receiving the materiel support they need. Just this morning, he again gave the example of body armor, which he said our administration failed to supply. May I remind the Senator that last November, at the President's request, Congress passed an $87 billion supplemental appropriation. This legislation was essential to our ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan - providing funding for body armor and other vital equipment; hazard pay; health benefits; ammunition; fuel, and spare parts for our military. The legislation passed overwhelmingly, with a vote in the Senate of 87 to 12. Senator Kerry voted no. I note that yesterday, attempting to clarify the matter, Senator Kerry said, quote, "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it." (Laughter.) It's a true fact. (Laughter.)
And that's just a tiny sampling. Read the entire speech on the veep's website.
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