Cheney Remains DNC Target Even As Conservatives Claim Vindication

06/19/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Sam Stein Senior Politics Editor, The Huffington Post

The Democratic Party -- lest there be any doubts -- is not shying away from making Dick Cheney the face of the opposition even as conservatives insist the former vice president has been vindicated by recent moves from the Obama administration.

The DNC released a new web ad on Tuesday night, mocking the Republican Party -- House Minority Leader John Boehner and RNC Chairman Michael Steele in particular -- as hopelessly and perhaps terminally devoted to the former VP.

The spot comes at a time when Republicans, clearly, are feeling a bit more emboldened than foiled by Cheney's continued presence in the public spotlight. On the Weekly Standard, in particular, the argument has been bandied about that Cheney has changed the debate on national security politics, influencing Obama not only to oppose the release of interrogation abuse photos, but also to continue using military tribunals to try detainees and, it is theorized, rethink the pending closure of Guantanamo Bay. The topic was taken up on the Chris Matthews Show this Sunday as well.

The president's advisers, to be sure, have asserted Obama's independence in handling all the aforementioned issues. "I've been with the president as he speaks about these issues," said David Axelrod, "and he's got one thing on his mind, which is to make the right decision for the troops, for the country, for our national security. I don't think he's worried about comments from the sidelines by anybody."

And, on a purely political level, the Democratic Party still obviously sees Cheney as an opportunity, even with the recent victory laps of the former vice president's supporters.