"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
The VP Debate: Well, that was much more satisfying. Lord, Cheney is good – he has gravitas; has a thorough-going command of the issues; is unflappable; puts the case in a way the president seems unable to, and also unlike the president, he's quick. He has the experience, he's doing the job and has a handle on all the details: The nation would be safe in his hands. (Perhaps it is safe in his hands. His performance not only pointed up a stature gap with Edwards, but with W.)
Edwards came across as a relative lightweight, though a pleasant one. I did like what he had to say on Israel, he struck a traditional note on marriage, was magnanimous regarding Cheney's family, and did take pains to sound aggressive on taking the fight to the terrorists. The Halliburton stuff was a sop to the Deaniac base, and his smarmy closing statement seemed, as my wife observed, pitched to dopes. But I'll say this – I found Edwards more likeable than Kerry.
EDWARDS: You know, we've taken 90 percent of the coalition causalities. American taxpayers have borne 90 percent of the costs of the effort in Iraq.
And we see the result of there not being a coalition: The first Gulf war cost America $5 billion. We're at $200 billion and counting…
CHENEY: Well…the 90 percent figure is just dead wrong. When you include the Iraqi security forces that have suffered casualties, as well as the allies, they've taken almost 50 percent of the casualties in operations in Iraq, which leaves the U.S. with 50 percent, not 90 percent.
With respect to the cost, it wasn't $200 billion. You probably weren't there to vote for that.
And this withering retort by Cheney on the Halliburton canard:
The reason they keep trying to attack Halliburton is because they want to obscure their own record.
And Senator, frankly, you have a record in the Senate that's not very distinguished. You've missed 33 out of 36 meetings in the Judiciary Committee, almost 70 percent of the meetings of the Intelligence Committee.
You've missed a lot of key votes: on tax policy, on energy, on Medicare reform.
Your hometown newspaper has taken to calling you "Senator Gone." You've got one of the worst attendance records in the United States Senate.
Now, in my capacity as vice president, I am the president of Senate, the presiding officer. I'm up in the Senate most Tuesdays when they're in session.
The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight.