Cheney on Cheney; Biden Bemoans Today's GOP

Highlights from The Atlantic's Washington Ideas Forum

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Father-daughter combo Dick and Liz Cheney hosted a seminar together at The Atlantic's Washington Ideas Forum today. As you might expect, Liz wasn't exactly grilling the former vice president, who she recently co-authored a book with, In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir. "What are the most important lessons you learned from me in writing this book," she asked, as recorded by The Atlantic's James Fallows with a chuckle. In reply, the former vice president said she taught him to leave out sensitive materials in his memoir "when in doubt." (Not clear if that rule was for personal or national security reasons.) Elsewhere in the interview, Cheney said he was not "secretly running things" while in office and equated the Bush administration's harsh interrogation tactics with President Obama's terror policies. For more on that, check out the story by The Atlantic's new political writer Molly Ball.

Other highlights from today's Ideas Forum, were Vice President Joe Biden's interview with NBC's David Gregory where he bemoaned the GOP's fractured state, saying "I truly believe if just Eric Cantor, Joe Biden, Barack Obama and John Boehner were allowed to settle the deal in the room we would have had a deal" referring to the president's jobs bill. "My view is that their party is not the Republican Party that we all know. ... In my view, we need a strong Republican Party. We need a Republican Party that's united."

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger also swung by for a chat with The Atlantic's Steve Clemons, where they focused on the rise of China. Kissinger advocated engagement. "I believe it is in the best interests of both countries to see whether it is possible to develop a cooperative approach in the face of a challenge which we can both define."

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf also took the stage to talk with Atlantic Media Company chairman David Bradley about India-Pakistan relations. "I think in my time, there's no doubt in my mind, we had a degree of trust and confidence, and I think inter-state relations have a lot to do with inter-personal relations between the leaders." However, he noted that the U.S. has a "pro-India tilt" which is "seen extremely negatively by the people of Pakistan. We have been used and then betrayed, that is the feeling of the people of Pakistan."

Update: Katie Couric had an interesting remark today. During her session, she said she was surprised that her infamous Palin interview about what newspapers the former Alaska governor reads caused such a fuss. "It does kind of bug me when people remember only that question," she said, saying she figured the exchange would just be used for background footage. "In television when you get B-roll of us walking and talking you sometimes just use material from there, but oftentimes it's just for the shot of the two of us walking to voice over." She added, "I still to this day don't understand why she wouldn't answer that question straight on." (Hat tip: Nikkie Schwab and Katy Adams)

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