Dick Cheney

July 31, 2000

Now that political conventions are in the news, it seems appropriate to begin to take a closer look at the candidates. Today, I would like to focus on the Republican vice-presidential nominee Dick Cheney.

Cheney was born in 1941 in Casper, Wyoming, where he spent his childhood. He dropped out of Yale University after one year, eventually earning a political science degree from the University of Wyoming.

He entered political life as a special assistant to Donald Rumsfeld, first in the Nixon administration and then in the Ford administration. He became Gerald Ford's Chief of Staff from 1975 to 1977.

He then returned to Wyoming to run for Congress and won a seat in the House of Representatives in 1978. He left Congress in 1989 when President Bush asked him to serve as Secretary of Defense. He received high marks for his handling of the 1991 Gulf War.

His wife, Lynne Chaney, served as chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. She holds a doctorate in English and has taught at several colleges and universities. She was also instrumental in writing the national history standards.

As a congressman, Dick Cheney had a conservative voting record. The National Right to Life Committee gave him a 100% pro-life voting record, and he was a supporter of a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution. He supported Reagan-era tax cuts and weapons spending.

Many commentators believe he adds weight to the ticket and helps close the "gravitas gap." This week Dick Cheney will be on a national stage with George W. Bush. I suspect by the end of the week we might know how much his addition will help the Republican ticket.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.