PHOTO CAPTION: Vice President Dick Cheney, minutes before cameras caught him nodding off at a cabinet meeting. (Come to think of it, he *does* look pretty woozy here.) President Bush called the emergency meeting Wednesday regarding the federal government’s response to wildfire devastation in California. Reuters photo.
WHILE WASHINGTON SLEPT
So I’m glued to CNN’s coverage of the California wildfires yesterday afternoon, and could hardly believe my eyes when I saw Vice President Dick Cheney dozing off during an emergency cabinet meeting called to determine how the federal government will respond to the crisis.
CNN’s footage showed Cheney sitting in a tall leather chair, head down, hands folded, eyes closed, gently swaying to and fro. Snoozing while California burned.
These 18 wildfires, the most devastating California has ever seen, prompted the largest mass evacuation in American history. Nearly 1 million people were forced to abandon their homes, a far greater exodus than what we saw two years ago during Hurricane Katrina.
Apparently our Vice President could really care less, deciding to take a little nap-e-poo during one of the nation’s worst natural and environmental disasters. And it’s not the first time he’s been known to sack out at important meetings:
PHOTO CAPTION: U.S. President George W. Bush speaks during a meeting about the situation in Iraq with current and former U.S. secretaries of state and defense at the White House in Washington May 12, 2006. From left are Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, sleeping Veep Dick Cheney, President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
PHOTO CAPTION: Vice President Dick Cheney gets caught napping in 2006 during a press briefing by President Bush and Chinese leader Hu Jintao. The veep’s people later insisted he was reading his notes.
What the hell is wrong with our Vice President, folks? Is the old ticker so weak that he can just drift off at any moment? Does he suffer from chronic narcolepsy? Or is he just resting his eyes?
Was Bush really running the country there for a minute? Should we be worried?
According to Reuters and other mainstream media outlets (who quickly “disappeared” that pesky footage of Cheney dozing at yesterday’s cabinet meeting), there is absolutely, positively no need to worry. Bush has everything under control.
You’re in good hands, America. Everything’s fine, go back to sleep.
Just get a load of this fawning coverage off the Reuters wire yesterday:
BUSH “HAUNTED” BY KATRINA
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Haunted by the legacy of Hurricane Katrina, the White House is scrambling to make sure the Southern California wildfires don’t become another public relations nightmare for President George W. Bush.
His administration, faced with the worst U.S. natural disaster since Katrina, has shifted into high gear to show it learned its lesson from the federal government’s botched handling of the storm that devastated New Orleans in 2005.
Mindful of the severe damage the Katrina response caused to Bush’s image and popularity, the White House has taken pains to depict him as deeply engaged in tracking the latest crisis.
(Which explains why the “Sleeping Veep” story was killed within hours of its initial airing…)
He was quick to declare a state of emergency in California, even going as far as anticipating Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s (cousin by marriage to RFK Jr.) request by leaving behind a pre-approved order before leaving the Oval Office on Monday evening.
Many will remember that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. harshly criticized the Bush Administration’s lack of response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005, arguing that the disaster had been entirely preventable. He reserved some of his fiercest blows for Vice President Cheney in a controversial article he wrote for the Huffington Post. Wonder what he’ll have to say about the California crisis?
While the rapidly declining health of the man who is “one heartbeat away” from the presidency is really no laughing matter…oh, what the hell, why not?
“Remember when the most embarrassing thing to happen to a vice-president was misspelling the word potato?” –Jimmy Kimmel
“A White House spokesman announced today that Vice President Dick Cheney’s recovery is exceeding his doctor’s expectations. You know what that means? He’s still alive.” –Jay Leno
“President Bush sent Vice President Dick Cheney to New Orleans. Is that what they need down there? Another person requiring emergency medical help?” –Jay Leno
“As Cheney told CNN, he has been 100 percent heart attack free since ascending to the vice presidency. He added, ‘In fact, rather than giving me stress, being vice president has actually fueled my blackened soul, allowing me to gorge vampire-like on the bloody nectar of unlimited power.’ I’m sorry that should have read ‘I never felt better.'” -Jon Stewart, on Dick Cheney’s insistence that he is the picture of health
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