A race to the bottom – Cheney versus Pelosi

June 5, 2009


Former Vice President Dick Cheney has won rave reviews from conservatives and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has gotten grief from from the liberal wing of her party — but the two are in one heck of a race for the lowest approval rating among Americans.

A new Gallup poll shows that Pelosi, embroiled in a controversy about what the CIA did or did not tell her about enhanced interrogation techniques used on terrorism suspects, at the moment holds the crown for the lowest favorable rating — 34 percent.

Cheney, who has tried to find every opportunity to blast the Obama administration over its national security policies and efforts to repudiate the Bush White House on that and other issues, is marginally better off at 37 percent.

But the ex-VP does have a higher unfavorable rating — 54 percent versus 50 percent for the House Speaker.

The numbers are fairly grim for Pelosi. Just six months ago she had about equal favorable and unfavorable ratings, in the low 40s. As for Cheney, his numbers are an improvement from March, when 30 percent had a favorable view of him and 63 percent held an unfavorable view.

“Both Cheney and Pelosi are now positioned as highly polarizing figures on the political landscape; both are viewed favorably by the large majority of their own party members, and unfavorably by most members of the opposing party,” Gallup said in its analysis.

The survey questioned 1,015 adults May 29-31 and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

For more Reuters political news, click here.

– Photo credit: Joshua Roberts (Cheney and Pelosi during the electoral college process in 2008.)


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I hope the people who disregarded the poll saying more Americans are against abortion now because it only sampled 1000 people are going to be consistent and say the same thing now. I doubt it, but it does show the hypocrisy of people.

Cheney is a private citizen, I doubt he cares what the polls say about him. It damages Pelosi in a big way. She has been exposed for her lies regarding “enhanced interrogation”. The more she said the deeper it got. Now she is paying the price.

In the meantime, I applaud Cheney for speaking out about this administration. He speaks for the majority of Americans who are not being heard.

It is a matter of time before this so called “mandate” comes tumbling down. Time will show this to be true. Just watch.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

There’s another big difference:

Pelosi is an elected official, held accountable by the voters every two years, and is thus likely concerned about the interests and criticisms of her constituents.

Cheney is free to appear in friendly venues like AEI, spout whatever re-write of history suits his daily fancy (so NOW there’s no connection between Saddam and al Qaeda, huh?), and he’s held accountable by no one whatsoever.

Posted by jvill | Report as abusive

True, jvill, Pelosi is an elected official, BUT, her constituents keep electing her no matter what. What do you expect of four/fifths of the city and county of San Francisco.
Enough said, that tells you a lot about her constituents.

Posted by Willy | Report as abusive

“He speaks for the majority of Americans who are not being heard.” Sounds like Agnew’s “Silent Majority” is back. Perhaps Agnew is back too?

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

Cheney speaks for a majority of Americans? I doubt that. More likely he speaks for war-mongers and those who want to shred our constitution. If Cheney (and Bush) knew anything about national security perhaps the attacks of September 11, 2001 would not have occurred on their watch.

Pelosi is sounding desperate. She bought into the democrat’s renaissance and assumed she was a big reason for it. How wrong she was. She’s a mere mortal who, if not for the fact she comes from the leftist state of California, would be bounced out of office come the 2010 elections.

Posted by Geoff B. | Report as abusive

So if Cheney’s numbers are improving and Pelosi’s are deteriorating, how is that “a race to the bottom”?

Posted by Random Numbers | Report as abusive

Geoff. Perhaps had Clinton known anything about national security and protected our nation, then you are right, 9/11 would not have occurred. We were attacked around the world endlessly during the Clinton years. His people should have known about 9/11 before they left off and briefed the incoming Bush people. They likely didn’t.

But to blame 9/11 on Bush is so convenient. I love the 20/20 hindsight crowd. They can make up any story they want to. In actuality, the Bush administration did know more about national security issues than the Clinton and the Obama adminstration combined.

Anyway, the Clinton story makes as much sense as your Bush story. But since you are into making wild assertions…..

I seriously doubt any administration would have avoided 9/11. I seriously hope Obama is not putting us on the same path by weakening us around the world with his apologies and flowers to our known enemies.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

TC it is all of us, the people of this country that weaken it by refusing to hold our leaders accountable for their actions. To blame our politicians is to blame ourselves. They are supposed to serve us. If government is incapable of serving the people then our own history shows us we have several options as to how to remedy such a situation. If we truly believe the American people are sovereign over this government then we are responsible for all of it’s actions or inaction. Responsibility by definition requires action.

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive

People who accuse others of wild assertions rarely, if ever, back up their accusations with anything remotely resembling facts. Clinton was profoundly activist in his attempts to address terrorism. Much of his work was foiled by right-wing Congressional conservatives who simply refused to accept the fact that he was President. These men, paid to work for the public trust, spent eight years working diligently to paralyze any and all Clinton policies, including anti-terror initiatives that would have gone a long way towards thwarting the September 11 attacks. Beyond them lay the worthless conservative media, which ignored the terrorist issue as it pursued leaks from Ken Starr’s office, leaving the American people drowning in a swamp of ignorance on a matter of deadly global importance.
Clinton wanted to attack the financial underpinnings of the Al-Qaeda network by banning American companies and individuals from dealing with foreign banks and financial institutions that al Qaeda was using for its money-laundering operations. Texas Senator Phil Gramm, Republican chairman of the Banking Committee, killed Clinton’s bill on this matter and called it “totalitarian.” In fact, he was compelled to kill the bill because his most devoted patrons, the Enron Corporation and its executives in Houston, were using those same financial networks to launder their own money.
Clinton made a deal with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to have twenty nations close tax havens used by Al Qaeda. The incoming Bush administration acted immediately to destroy the agreement. Bush economic advisors Larry Lindsey and R. Glenn Hubbard were urged by think tanks like the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, the Heritage Foundation, and the American Enterprise Institute (all favorite speaking venues for Former Vice President Cheney) to pull out of the very coalition that Clinton had formed. The big money behind the think tanks got what they wanted, and the Bush administration pulled America out of the plan. Without the world’s financial superpower, the biggest effort in years to rid the world’s financial system of terrorist network-bound money was stopped.
Couple this with other facts about the Bush administration we now have in hand. The administration was warned about a massive terror plot in the months before September by the security services of several countries, including Israel, Egypt, Germany and Russia. CIA Director George Tenet delivered a specific briefing on the matter to the administration on August 8, 2001. The massive compendium of data on Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda compiled by NSA, and delivered to Condoleezza Rice, went completely and admittedly unread until the attacks took place. The attacks themselves managed, for over an hour, to pierce the most formidable air defense system in the history of the Earth without a single fighter aircraft taking wing until the catastrophe was concluded.
The attempts to rewrite history and blame the 9-11 attacks on the Clinton administration are one of the most cowardly things I have ever witnessed. Clinton bears much responsibility for many things, including the financial catastrophe we are facing today. Clinton was, after all, the best Republican President since Eisenhower. Clinton did more to combat global terrorism than any administration before him, at the same time a war was being waged against him by the Republican leadership.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

I’d add to getplaning’s post that there was Clarke running around the West Wing with his hair on fire trying to get the attention of the Bushies that bin Laden was determined to strike in the US, but of course the Bushies had already made up their minds that nothing the previous administration did was worth anything at all. And we all know the result of that attitude. I also recall a Time magazine cover story “We Had a Plan” regarding what to do about al-Qaeda, so TC, it wasn’t really all 20/20 hindsight as you claim.

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

To “getplaning”..

First, Richard Clarke might have well been running around the White House “with his hair on fire” proclaiming that the “sun is coming up tomorrow”!
After the World Trade center bombing in 93′ (right under the Clintonista’s collective noses), there wasn’t a person in the world that didn’t know that Al Qaeda was looking to hit us domestically-including Condi Rice!

The intel was a little short on specifics, however. Like, for example…”how” they were planning to hit us. Without that little tid-bit of info, there was little that could be done except to keep watching.

Watching was a little tough to do inasmuch as the CIA and NSA were prohibited from communicating with the FBI because of a little thing known as “The Wall” of separation between domestic and international survailance agencies. A Wall constructed by none other than one Jamie Gorelick (Janet Reno’s Deputy Attorney General) Constructed, no doubt, to prevent the CIA from informing the FBI where to find international fugitive Charlie Tree–under investigation for laundering campaign contributions made by the Chinese military into the Clinton Campaign coffers.

Oh..this is the same Jamie Gorelick that ended up sitting on the board of Fannie Mae and accepted $100’s of $1000’s of dollars of bonuses from a quasi governmental agency that was allegedly cooking its books to obscure the poison it was pumping into the world’s financial system in the form of toxic loans being sold off to unsuspecting institutions and investors.
The same Jamie Gorelick who was appointed to the 9-11 Commission by none other than uber-partisan hack Tom Daschelle–so that she couldn’t be questioned as to her role in the 9-11 intelligence failures!! This woman is a virtual “menace to society”!

The Bush administration was able to choke off Al Qaeda’s financial support in international banking with little trouble…and did so quickly. Even with Dick Cheney in tow–so much for that little ‘invention of history’ you trotted out!

Moreover…Bill Clinton was offered Bin Laden on a silver platter on several occasions and refused! He had an opportunity to bomb him straight to Hades more than once…and refused. The United States suffered more attacks on our own soil and against our interests abroad during the Clinton Administration than under ANY other administration in history! Those are the facts!

So…where is the “evidence” for this “profound activism” against terrorism by the Clintonistas? He only met with his CIA director once. ONCE!

Clinton (and his administration) was singularly dis-interested in terrorism. He was far more pre-occupied with his poll numbers and chasing around after a chubby intern!

Maybe this evidence of “Profound Activism” against terrorism is what Clinton National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger, stuffed into his socks and spirited out of the National Archives during the 9-11 investigation? Huh?


Posted by Solo | Report as abusive

BUUUUWAAAHAHAHAHA? You think this is funny? So did George Bush, come to thik of it. When the CIA showed up at the dude ranch in Crawford on Aug 8, 2001 to deliver the bulletin, “Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside US”, in an attempt to get his attention, what was his reaction?

“OK, you covered your a**”. Nothing more needs to be said.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive