The former vice president recently sat down with NBC News for his first interview since undergoing heart surgery in July. In a wide-ranging discussion, he offered his take on the harsh criticism he's received, President Barack Obama's re-election chances and the Tucson shootings.
Told that his memoir-in-progress is rumored to be "candid and blunt" and that "some scores will be settled," Cheney chuckled. "Well, I have a bit of the sense that I'm going to get the last word," he said.
But when asked about Palin and her political future, Cheney was anything but candid or blunt. "I'm, um, um, interested in Governor Palin, like a lot of people are," he said, adding: "She's got an interesting political career established. She's clearly a factor within the Republican Party." Cheney did admit that he enjoyed watching "Sarah Palin's Alaska," though perhaps not necessarily because of its star. "I love Alaska," he said.
Cheney even stayed mum on the question of Palin's qualifications to be president, saying there will be "ample time" for weighing GOP candidates "in the months ahead," and that he would be "happy to participate in that process when the time is right."
Cheney seems to have developed a real knack for dodging questions about Palin. Last year, in an interview with ABC News, he was also asked if Palin "is qualified" to be president. "I haven't made a decision yet on who I'm going to support for president next time around," he said. "Um, I think -- well, I think all the prospective candidates have a lot of work to do if in fact they're going to persuade a majority of Americans that they're ready to take on the world's toughest job."
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Will Cheney finally reveal his true thoughts about Palin "in the months ahead" as the 2012 primaries get under way? Or will he find a way to keep sidestepping the issue? We'll have to wait and see.
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