The Big Cheney Shrug-Off

When asked about polls showing most Americans think the war isn't worth it, Cheney replied, "So?"

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It didn't help the White House when Vice President Dick Cheney, asked by ABC News about polls showing that two thirds of Americans believe the war isn't worth fighting, replied, "So?" Doesn't he care what Americans think? "No," Cheney replied, "I think you cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls." His remarks struck antiwar leaders at home as insensitive and dismissive.

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino then got tangled in the official spin. Bush and Cheney "hold themselves to a standard that requires people not to like them," she told reporters. This sounded like the two were trying to alienate the country, so Perino offered that Bush and Cheney believe "you can't make decisions based on chasing popularity." Some would say that's obvious, given their rock-bottom job-approval ratings. But Bush tells aides that he will stay the course. In a speech last week, Bush said the Iraqi government's aggressive assault on insurgents shows "the progress that the Iraqi security forces have made."