Book-tour media rules for former Vice President Dick Cheney, who is out promoting his new memoir (The following is a list of interview questions that Mr. Cheney has agreed to answer forthrightly.):
1. What’s the title of your new book? Do you think you’ll sell more than Tina Fey?
2. Did you enjoy cowriting it with your daughter Liz?
3. Is Liz a good writer? Does she work on a Mac or a PC? Which of you two was in charge of spell-checking?
4. How’s that dog of yours? Isn’t it a yellow Lab? Are they crazy or what?
5. Do you and former President Bush chat very often? Did you send him an early copy of your book? Maybe an audio disk, or a download for his Kindle?
6. How’s your health these days? Did you get to do some trout fishing this summer in Wyoming? All things considered, do you prefer rainbows or cutthroats?
7. Do you miss being the second-most powerful person in the whole world? What’s the toughest thing about retirement? Did they give you a decent health plan or are there, like, ridiculous co-pays?
8. Who’s your favorite commentator on Fox News? And what’s your most enduring achievement as vice president?
9. On a scale of one to 100, how dangerous to the future of America and the free world is President Obama? How long would it take our country to be overrun by jihadists and North Koreans if a Republican isn’t elected to the White House in 2012?
10. Can we take a peek at your portable heart machine?
(The following is a list of questions that Mr. Cheney might answer partially, with varying degrees of deception, or not at all.)
1. In your memoir, you seem resentful toward Colin Powell. Is this because he was an actual soldier with leadership experience in the first Gulf War and possibly he knew what he was talking about, whereas you never put on a uniform in your life and had no freaking clue?
2. Would you be willing to go on the Jay Leno show and let yourself be waterboarded if you thought it would sell more books? What if Condoleezza agreed to get in the tank, too?
3. Why do you suppose nobody else in the Bush administration wanted to spontaneously bomb Syria except you? At that point, did any of your close friends or family members suggest an extended vacation? A brain scan?
4. During all those White House meetings about Iraq, did anybody ever mention what would happen to our nation’s economy if a war were launched at the same time taxes were being slashed? If so, how many seconds did it take you to change the subject?
5. Did you have trouble keeping a straight face when you kept insisting that Saddam Hussein had an “established relationship with al-Qaida?” Was it satisfying to know that many Americans were misled into believing that Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks?
6. Any thoughts on those nonexistent weapons of mass destruction?
7. Why did you keep ranting about WMDs years after the CIA and the military had given up looking? Was this a period when your medication was being adjusted, or were you just spuriously trying to justify the U.S. invasion?
8. Speaking of which, remember when you went on TV and predicted that American troops would be “greeted as liberators”? Is it possible you were drunk at the time?
9. And, oh yeah, remember when you declared that the Iraqi insurgency was in its “last throes?” Way back in 2005? Of all the dumb things to come out of your mouth, where does that whopper rank?
10. Does the number 4,465 hold any special meaning? Would you be surprised to learn that’s how many American troops have been killed in Iraq since the occupation? Just out of curiosity, have you taken a stroll through Arlington National Cemetery lately?
11. Finally, Mr. Vice President, when is the last time you were right about anything?
(Carl Hiaasen is a columnist for the Miami Herald. Readers may write to him at: 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, Fla., 33132.)
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