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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

In a few hours, the number 2's in this year's presidential campaign get a chance to state their cases before the American people in the one and only vice presidential debate. Typically, these VP debates are regarded merely as sideshows in the election cycle, but tonight's debate is being hailed, natch, as the most important VP debates ever. The contrasting images of the two men involved couldn't be more stark: John Edwards is the fresh-faced former lawyer spreading a populist message of change and hope - or, as the Bush team positions him, a political neophyte with hair as shiny as the Breck Girl. Dick Cheney, on the other hand, is the experienced, steadfast career politician who spreads a message of doom-and-gloom wherever he goes - or, as the Kerry team portrays him, evil incarnate. He is Darth Vader.

Most people have a pretty good idea about who Dick Cheney is, and frankly, he's not a guy most people would want to invite over for a barbecue. The conservative base, however, adores the guy, mostly because he's mean. They like mean guys on that side, it makes them giggle. The American public only expects two things out of Dick Cheney: Fear and Fear. As long as he doesn't go out and start eating babies on stage tonight, most people well be pleasantly surprised by how measured, almost soothing, he can be. Edwards, on the other hand, seems to have a high favorability rating, probably because nobody knows much about him beyond his smile. Where have you been John? Who are you besides a seemingly nice guy with nice hair, a nice smile and a Southern accent? Tonight, John Edwards needs to shed that nice-guy image and hammer Dick into the ground. And there's a lot to hammer.

Cheney's 30-year record in Washington reveals just how big a disaster this guy is. And it will probably prevent you from sleeping tonight. For instance, how many people know that Dick Cheney was one of the few members of congress who consistently voted against resolutions calling for the release of Nelson Mandela throughout the 80s? Who remembers that he was principal defender for Ronald Reagan during the Iran/Contra scandal? Did you know he voted against a resolution proclaiming Martin Luther King Day a federal holiday? And of course, no one should forget that he served faithfully, and defended to the end, the presidency of one Richard Milhous Nixon. This is a man who received five deferments from the Vietnam War, insisting that he had "better things to do" at the time. He loves war, as long as he isn't the one doing the fighting. Simply put, Dick Cheney is a paranoid, cowardly, corrupt, inept scoundrel of a man. And I have yet to even mention Halliburton. But John Edwards should. Repeatedly.

Cheney's former company has benefited more than just about anyone from the Iraq mess, and Edwards needs to make that connection tonight. No doubt, Cheney will claim he has no ties to Halliburton, but if Dick can continue to link al Qaeda and Iraq, Edwards can certainly link Cheney to Halliburton. Edwards must pound away at Cheney's tendency toward cronyism and his continued ties to Halliburton.

Go get 'em Breck boy, we're rooting for you.

10 Questions that should be asked of Dick Cheney tonight.
Dick's 'Apocalypse Now' nightmare land: "Vice President of the Apocalypse."
"He has the least interest in human beings of anyone I have ever met."

UPDATE: Apparently, irony is not lost on Team Kerry, who has managed to get a front-row seat at tonight's debate for Vermont senator Patrick Leahy, the recipient of Dick Cheney's infamous, profanity-laden Senate floor tirade. So if you hear someone suddenly yell out "Go Fuck Yourself!" in response to one of Cheney's answers tonight, there's a good chance the distinguished gentleman from Vermont will be to blame. But can you really blame him?

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