The Corner

The Cheney Effect

Rasmussen finds that Americans disagree 51-38 percent with former vice president Cheney’s contention that Obama has made the country less safe. (I wonder what the results would have been if people had been asked if Obama’s policies had made the country more safe, less safe, or left our safety unchanged.) This finding will probably add fuel to the debate over whether Cheney’s outspokenness is hurting the GOP. But before reaching that conclusion people should consider, first, that the numbers would probably be worse than 51-38 for Republicans if Cheney hadn’t been talking and, second, that national security is still one of the Republican party’s best issues. (Rasmussen also finds, for example, that Republicans are trusted more than Democrats on the issue and that most people agree with Cheney that the release of the CIA memos endangered national security.) More attention to national security, all else equal, helps Republicans, and Cheney is certainly getting attention.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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