Politics & Policy

“a Cheap and Tawdry Political Trick”

The Democrats misuse the vice president's family to win.

In a desperate attempt to win the White House, John Kerry and John Edwards have sunk to practicing the lowest form of politics–using the personal lives of the other candidates and their family members for political gain. Both John Kerry’s and John Edwards’s specific mention of the sexual orientation of Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter during the debates was a deliberate and calculated political attempt to suppress religious conservative voters from turning out to the polls for President George W. Bush.

#ad#During last night’s presidential debate, Senator Kerry said, “If you were to talk to Dick Cheney’s daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she’s being who she was, she’s being who she was born as.” This follows his running mate John Edwards’s specific reference to Mary Cheney during the October 5 vice-presidential debate, during which he said, “And you can’t have anything but respect for the fact that they’re willing to talk about the fact that they have a gay daughter, the fact that they embrace her.”

At a post-debate rally in Pittsburgh, Lynne Cheney said of Kerry’s deliberate reference to her daughter’s sexual preference: “The only thing I can conclude is that this is not a good man…. I’m speaking as a mom,” Mrs. Cheney said. “What a cheap and tawdry political trick.”

What else explains both Kerry and Edwards pointing out Mary Cheney’s sexual orientation in two nationally televised debates? Mary Beth Cahill, Kerry’s campaign manager said in a post-debate interview on Fox News, “There are a lot of questions here about gay marriage and she is someone who’s a major figure in the campaign. I think it’s fair game.”

Elizabeth Edwards, wife of John Edwards, Kerry’s running mate, made matters worse on Thursday morning when she ridiculed Lynne Cheney for her remarks, suggesting Mrs. Cheney was ashamed of her daughter. Mrs. Edwards said: “It makes me really sad that that’s Lynne’s response. I think that it indicates a certain degree of shame with respect to her daughter’s sexual preferences that I’m certain makes her daughter uncomfortable. That makes me very sad on a personal level.”

This is out of control. No, Mary Cheney’s personal life is not fair game. Mary Cheney heads up vice-presidential operations for the Bush-Cheney 04 campaign. She is not running for political office. She has absolutely no role in making domestic-policy decisions in the Bush administration. In fact, the policymaking process on the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage began well before Ms. Cheney formally joined the campaign in late 2003. While Vice President Cheney may hold his own private views about the need for a constitutional amendment, it is President Bush who ultimately sets policy for the administration. And the vice president fully supports the president’s decision to endorse the constitutional amendment.

Fox News contributor Mort Kondracke put it best when he said last night, “I think it was totally underhanded–the outing of Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter…. And it struck me as a low blow designed to weaken the Bush-Cheney team with right-wingers who might not know that Dick Cheney has a lesbian daughter.”

While the Democrats have been hurling specious and unsubstantiated charges about Republicans suppressing the African-American vote, Kerry and Edwards are leading their party’s effort–on national television no less–to discourage religious and social conservatives from going to the ballot box for President Bush. This is dirty politics and the American people should reject them for it.

Cesar V. Conda was Vice President Dick Cheney’s assistant for domestic policy.

Most Popular


What We’ve Learned about Jussie Smollett

It’s been a few weeks since March 26, when all charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and the actor declared that his version of events had been proven correct. How’s that going? Smollett’s celebrity defenders have gone quiet. His publicists and lawyers are dodging reporters. The @StandwithJussie ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Lessons of the Mueller Probe

Editor’s Note: The following is the written testimony submitted by Mr. McCarthy in connection with a hearing earlier today before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on the Mueller Report (specifically, the first volume of the report, which addresses Russia’s interference in the 2016 ... Read More

Kamala Harris Runs for Queen

I’m going to let you in on a secret about the 2020 presidential contest: Unless unforeseen circumstances lead to a true wave election, the legislative stakes will be extremely low. The odds are heavily stacked against Democrats’ retaking the Senate, and that means that even if a Democrat wins the White House, ... Read More

Why Are the Western Middle Classes So Angry?

What is going on with the unending Brexit drama, the aftershocks of Donald Trump’s election, and the “yellow vests” protests in France? What drives the growing estrangement of southern and eastern Europe from the European Union establishment? What fuels the anti-EU themes of recent European elections and ... Read More
Energy & Environment

The Climate Trap for Democrats

The more the climate debate changes, the more it stays the same. Polls show that the public is worried about climate change, but that doesn’t mean that it is any more ready to bear any burden or pay any price to combat it. If President Donald Trump claws his way to victory again in Pennsylvania and the ... Read More
White House

Sarah Sanders to Resign at End of June

Sarah Huckabee Sanders will resign from her position as White House press secretary at the end of the month, President Trump announced on Twitter Thursday afternoon. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1139263782142787585 Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, succeeded Sean ... Read More
Politics & Policy

But Why Is Guatemala Hungry?

I really, really don’t want to be on the “Nicolas Kristof Wrote Something Dumb” beat, but, Jiminy Cricket! Kristof has taken a trip to Guatemala, with a young woman from Arizona State University in tow. “My annual win-a-trip journey,” he writes. Reporting from Guatemala, he discovers that many ... Read More