Well, I just watched the veep. He has a calming demeanor and an under-rated TV presence. But two things he dodged. The first was the question of whether he had been following the usual hunting protocols. I have no clue what those are and defer to others. But his formula of taking full responsibility, and giving the bottom line as "I shot the gun," doesn't answer the question of whether he was negligent in the way he was hunting. I'm sure he didn't mean to hurt his old friend; and I'm sure his friend won't hold it against him. But it does make a difference if this was an accident that could happen under perfect hunting protocols or not. Thirty yards seems pretty close to me. Whittington was wearing the right gear. Well, you can see what I'm getting at; and hunters will no doubt come up with an answer. Violating basic hunting procedures makes this a little more embarrassing than a pure accident. I'm not saying Cheney did. I'm just saying he dodged that question. Why?
As for the press strategy: completely unconvincing. He waited, he argued, for accuracy's sake. First reports are always wrong, he claimed. So what? He knew that he'd shot someone accidentally; that person was seriously wounded and taken to hospital; and that's all he needed to report to the national media. As soon as the family had been informed, the press should have been called. It's a no-brainer. It's the press's job to get the details and determine what happened in greater detail. The White House clearly thought that was the right approach, as Cheney said. But Cheney, apparently, trumps the White House on a big story like this when it involves him. So the mystery is not solved, and may never be. Look: this is not a big deal, although it's fascinating in a way. It's just a small deal of dodging, arrogance, and weirdness. Like a lot of stuff related to Cheney. Just ask Scooter.