It appears the public has offered a pretty clear-cut verdict of who had the more persuasive argument in the Obama-Cheney dueling-speeches showdown:
Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to closing the detention center for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay and moving some of the detainees to prisons on U.S. soil, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds.
By more than 2-1, those surveyed say Guantanamo shouldn’t be closed. By more than 3-1, they oppose moving some of the accused terrorists housed there to prisons in their own states…
In the survey, Americans were inclined to accept the argument by Cheney and former president George W. Bush that the detention center had made the United States safer. By 40%-18%, they said the prison had strengthened national security rather than weakened it.
Those who want the prison to remain open feel more strongly on the subject that those who want to close it. A 54% majority of those polled say the prison shouldn’t be closed, and that they’ll be upset if the administration moves forward to close it.
Between his persuasive power on this issue and his stance that is more supportive of gay Americans’ marriage rights, Cheney could be putting together a right-left coalition that could sweep him into the Oval Office in 2012.
I’m kidding. I think.