Former Vice President Dick Cheney Speaks At Luncheon On Long Island

Over the course of my life, I served on several screening committees charged with sorting out the people to be hired for various jobs. Among the standard questions put to those interviewed was the one in which interviewees were asked to enumerate their strengths and weaknesses. There was no right answer for that question, but there were surely wrong answers – responses that might send up a red flag about the character of the person being considered. Through hundreds of interview sessions, I never heard a job applicant say they couldn’t think of a single personal weakness. And, if any of those interviewees had answered with such a startling lack of humility and paucity of introspection, those of us doing the interviewing would have had the information we needed to eliminate them from further consideration.

But, in a recent interview conducted for a Showtime documentary on his life, former Vice President Dick Cheney was completely stumped when asked to name one of his faults. “I don’t spend much time thinking about my faults,” he told the documentarian after a long pause failed to provide him with even a whisper of self-doubt.

This, we should remember, is the man who said we would be welcomed as liberators when we invaded Iraq in a war that was totally unnecessary, that added something like a trillion dollars to the nation’s indebtedness, and that cost some four thousand young Americans their lives and blighted the lives of tens of thousands of others who sustained life-changing injuries. This is the man who still seems to believe that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, justifying military action that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and strengthened Iranian power in the region.

This is also the man who evaded serving in the military when he was young, saying he had “other priorities” even while cheerleading the policies and the politicians who were sending other young men and women of his generation to their deaths in Viet Nam.

Dick Cheney never spends time wondering if he has any faults. But, if you were serving on a hiring committee, would you hire anyone who exhibited such arrogance? Who in his or her right mind would want such a man as a colleague, let alone choose him to be just a heartbeat away from the most powerful job in the world?

But we hired this monster not once, but twice. Shame on him. Shame on us.


  1. Murray Suid says:

    I guess I’m never going to be elected vice president of the USA because I could make a very long list of my faults and mistakes.

    As a screenwriter, I know that what makes for an interesting character is someone who blunders and then finds a way out of the self-created mess. Or at least who makes a big effort to solve the problem.