GOP to Cheney: Please go away

The former vice president's sudden desire for the spotlight is hurting his old colleagues, and they want him to stop.

Published March 24, 2009 3:05PM (EDT)

When Dick Cheney was vice president, no one knew where he was half the time. If some Republican members of Congress had their way, he would have kept it that way even after leaving office.

"Displeased with the former vice-president's recent media appearances, Republican lawmakers say he's hurting GOP efforts to reinvent itself after back-to-back electoral drubbings," the Hill reports Tuesday. The paper quotes one congressman, Tennessee's John Duncan, as saying, "He became so unpopular while he was in the White House that it would probably be better for us politically if he wouldn’t be so public... But he has the right to speak out since he’s a private citizen."

The problem, of course, is that by the end of the Bush administration, there were some strains of the bubonic plague that were more popular than Cheney. And with former President Bush doing his best to shy away from post-presidential controversy for now, Cheney's frequent public appearances make him an attractive foil for the Obama administration. That's, presumably, the reason for the president's rather sharp responses to Cheney recently.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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