You wouldn't think Vice President Dick Cheney would sit for an interview with a humorist, especially one who writes Dubya's Dayly Diary. And you'd be right:
MADKANE: Mr. Vice President, welcome. Interviewing you is a great honor.
CHENEY: Yes, it is.
MADKANE: Before we get started, tell me -- how's your health these days?
CHENEY: I'm in tiptop shape. Never better!
MADKANE: Isn't that a bit of an exaggeration? After all, you've had so many heart...
CHENEY: Surely you're not calling me a liar.
MADKANE: Not at all. But it stands to reason that...
CHENEY: Reason, Mrs. Kane? I've read that Dubya's Diary of yours, and reason doesn't predominate.
MADKANE: Actually, I go by Ms. Kane.
CHENEY: I'm sure you do.
MADKANE: Perhaps we should move on. Tell me -- how long do you plan to remain in your undisclosed location?
CHENEY: I'm not free to disclose that.
MADKANE: Can you at least tell me if the American people will be seeing more of your gravitas in the coming months?
CHENEY: Asked and answered.
MADKANE: Asked and answered? Isn't that phrase more appropriate for some kind of legal hearing? It sounds like you've been practicing.
CHENEY: I don't do legal hearings.
MADKANE: But in light of your close ties to Enron, couldn't you be required to testify in one of the many Enron investigations?
CHENEY: Won't happen.
MADKANE: You're awfully confident.
CHENEY: That's why they pay me the big bucks.
MADKANE: Speaking of big bucks, your old company's stock has been sinking like a stone. It looks like you left Halliburton & unloaded your holdings none too soon. Does that make you feel lucky?
CHENEY: Luck has nothing to do with it. Had I not sacrificed my CEO position by becoming Vice President, Halliburton's stock would be worth more than ever.
MADKANE: But the stock drop is largely due to asbestos litigation verdicts. As CEO, how could you have prevented that from happening?
CHENEY: With the right man at the helm, all things are possible.
MADKANE: Don't you mean the right man or woman?
MADKANE: Let's get back to that sacrifice you mentioned. Mr. Bush picked you to help select his running mate. Wasn't it egotistical of you to pick yourself?
CHENEY: Not at all. I carefully screened all the candidates, weighed all my options, and made the best possible choice for the good of the country.
MADKANE: You said, and I quote, "weighed all my options." Don't you mean "weighed all of Bush's options?"
MADKANE: I see. Tell me -- what do you think of Mr. Bush's performance in office?
CHENEY: First rate!
MADKANE: Well, his approval ratings are certainly going through the roof. Yet some people think you're doing all the real work, and he's getting all the credit. Doesn't that make you feel just a bit jealous?
CHENEY: Not at all. Jealousy is for the weak of spirit.
MADKANE: Speaking of spirit, Mr. Bush portrays himself as a very spiritual man, and is viewed by some people as the new leader of the Christian right, now that Pat Robertson's no longer President of the Christian Coalition. Isn't that ironic in light of Mr. Bush's ... uhhh .... history?
CHENEY: Irony died on 9/11.
MADKANE: Yes, so I've heard. Do you think 9/11 could have been prevented?
CHENEY: No. 9/11 occurs every year.
MADKANE: That's very amusing, but it's not what I meant.
CHENEY: Language precision is essential in an interviewer.
MADKANE: What about in a President?
CHENEY: I'm afraid I must go. The President's on the phone.
MADKANE: Thanks for your time, Mr. Vice President. I hope to interview you again soon.