A heartbeat away from the presidency

Dick Cheney is hospitalized, briefly, for shortness of breath.


Tim Grieve
January 9, 2006 6:30PM (UTC)

The Secret Service rushed Dick Cheney from his home to the George Washington University Hospital at about 3 a.m. today after the vice president became short of breath. Cheney was released from the hospital at about 7:30 a.m., according to the Associated Press.

The White House said that Cheney's shortness of breath stemmed from fluid retention related to medication he was taking for a problem with his foot. It was not, the White House said, related to any problem with Cheney's heart.

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The AP report on the episode contains an unusually stark reminder of Cheney's health problems: In addition to an unspecified "foot condition" that forced him to use a cane Friday, the vice president has had "surgery to repair aneurysms behind both knees, four heart attacks, quadruple bypass surgery, two artery-clearing angioplasties and an operation to implant a special pacemaker in his chest."


Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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