Is Dick running for something?

IS DICK RUNNING FOR SOMETHING?…. What’s that line? How can we miss you if you won’t go away?

Just a few days ago, Dick Cheney explained his belief that it’s time for some of the older establishment Republican voices to exit the stage. “I think periodically we have to go through one these sessions. It helps clear away some of the underbrush,” the former vice president said, adding, “Some of the older folks who’ve been around a long time — like yours truly — need to move on and make room for that young talent that’s coming along.”

Two days later, he appeared on “Face the Nation.” Next week, he’s delivering a speech on national security at a Washington think tank.

Amid claims that the interrogation methods amount to torture and that those who approved them should be prosecuted or censured, it is clear that we know surprisingly little about the scope and efficacy of the Bush administration’s national security policy. Many questions linger: What type of information did enhanced interrogation methods yield? Were lives saved as a result? Could that intelligence have been effectively collected by other means? How effective was the terrorist surveillance program in detecting the threat of al Qaeda and its operatives in the post-9/11 period? Will inhibiting these procedures cost more American lives?

On May 21, former vice president Dick Cheney will speak at AEI to address these critical issues and provide a blueprint for keeping America safe in the future.

It’s all part of his plan to “move on and make room for that young talent that’s coming along.”

I’m not trying to start any rumors, but Cheney is certainly acting like a guy who plans to run for something. He’s doing lots of media interviews, cultivating his connection with Limbaugh, attacking the president, lying about Democratic ideas, and giving at least one speech at a major conservative think tank about his vision for the future.

Put it this way — if one of the Republicans with his/her eyes on 2012 maintained this kind of high-profile schedule in Washington, wouldn’t the assumption be that he or she was laying the groundwork for a campaign?

I really doubt Cheney has political ambitions at this point; even he has to realize how unpopular he is. But no matter how much Cheney believes what he’s saying, it might occur to him one of these days that the Republicans’ “young talent that’s coming along” might want to deliver a similar message about the same issues. It’s not like the former vice president holds a unique level or credibility and/or respect with the nation at this point.

Indeed, I can only assume that the DNC will be working the phones, hoping to get all the networks to cover Cheney’s speech next week live and on the air.