It’s been that kind of presidency

IT’S BEEN THAT KIND OF PRESIDENCY…. On Fox News yesterday, Chris Wallace asked Dick Cheney to identify the “highest moment” of the last eight years. It wasn’t a trick question.

Cheney pondered this for a few moments before answering, “Well, I think the most important, the most compelling, was 9/11 itself, and what that entailed, what we had to deal with.”

Wallace followed up by noting that the highest moment was also the lowest, which Cheney was quick to agree with.

Now, to be fair, Cheney didn’t exactly say that terrorist attacks that killed 3,000 Americans was the “highest moment” of the Bush presidency; he instead changed the question a bit to make 9/11 the “most important” moment.

But it was still rather odd. Jed noted, “[I]t tells you something about the darkness of Cheney’s mind that this was the first thing to come to his mind when looking for bright spots over the past eight years was 9/11.”

Yes, but it also occurred to me that Cheney probably couldn’t come up with anything that resembled a highlight. He might have mentioned, say, the capture of Saddam, though that turned out to be of little practical consequence. He might have mentioned the passage of the Republican tax cuts, but that would only remind people of how poorly the administration’s policies have fared.

In other words, I don’t necessarily blame Cheney for drawing a blank and changing the basis for the question. If I were in his shoes, and was asked to think of the “highest moment” of the last eight years, only one moment comes to mind, but it clearly wouldn’t work as an answer for Cheney.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation