But Seriously, My Fellow Americans...

By HART SEELY

New York Times

March 7, 2005

Syracuse It's not too soon for Hollywood to start thinking about next year's Oscar ceremony - and if the producers want another outrageous, hard-edged host in the style of Chris Rock, they need look no further than Washington. Vice President Dick Cheney can do the job, as evidenced by White House transcripts, which faithfully note his comedic genius. What follows are some of Mr. Cheney's most outrageous bits, excerpted from his speeches.

Thank you very much. I was in the neighborhood and thought I'd stop by and say, aloha. (Laughter.) - Nov. 1, 2004

I bring good wishes to all of you from the seat of power - Crawford, Texas. (Laughter and applause.) - Aug. 29, 2002

I want to thank John McCain. John has been a great friend for 20 years, does a superb job for the United States Senate. (Applause.) And of course, we've got John Ensign - Senator John Ensign with us here today. (Applause.) And when people say "flush the Johns," they don't mean these two. (Laughter.) - Nov. 1, 2004

I've been looking forward to this event. It's a special event. We're all here, obviously, for one very particular reason. And I'm sure you paid more than I did to get in. (Laughter.) - July 15, 2003

Male audience member: We love you. (Laughter.)
The vice president: Why is it always the guys who say, "We love you"? (Laughter.) - Sept. 23, 2004

I just like to remind everybody what you say is being recorded. (Laughter.) - Sept. 29, 2004

Lynne and I have a Republican marriage. We got married because Dwight Eisenhower got elected president of the United States. (Applause.) - Sept. 17, 2004

She's known me since I was 14 years old, but she wouldn't go out with me until I was 17. (Laughter.) I'm not sure whether that was her choice, or her father's choice. (Laughter.) - Oct. 20, 2004

Now, Lynne was pretty impressive when she was 14 years old, too. (Laughter.) - July 30, 2004

I'm going to get in a lot of trouble here if I'm not careful. (Laughter.) - May 21, 2004

I get in trouble for that every once in a while. (Laughter.) When I go duck hunting with Nino Scalia, for example. (Laughter.) - Sept. 21, 2004

She's not going to miss that joke when this campaign is over with. (Laughter.) - Nov. 1, 2004

Audience member: (Inaudible.)
The vice president: That's a Howard Dean scream I assume. (Laughter.) Kind of a weak one if you ask me. (Laughter.)
- Oct. 30, 2004

I haven't had this much fun since we beat John Kerry. (Applause.) - Dec. 1, 2004

And once again, I delivered the state of Wyoming for the Bush-Cheney ticket. (Laughter and applause.) - Dec. 1, 2004

I was the congressman from Wyoming for 10 years. Wyoming only had one congressman. (Laughter.) It was a small delegation. But it was quality. (Laughter and applause.) - Dec. 1, 2004

Control yourself back there for us, O.K.? (Laughter.) This is my speech, or what? (Laughter.) - Nov. 1, 2004

Don Rumsfeld is back at Defense. He hasn't made any progress at all in about 30 years - same old job. (Laughter.) - Oct. 21, 2003

We keep telling Don - this is the second time he's been secretary - he's going to have to keep doing it till he gets it right! (Laughter.) - Nov. 14, 2001

And, yes, there are a few of us old white guys in blue suits hanging around, too. (Laughter.) - July 26, 2004

This is a good crowd. I may take you home with me. (Laughter.) - May 24, 2004

These days, we don't get many visitors at the cave. (Laughter.) - Oct. 25, 2001

The Waldorf is a lot nicer than our cave. (Laughter.) - Oct. 18, 2001

I'm almost through, but I could give you the whole speech again. (Laughter and applause.) That's a joke. I've got to get home tonight. (Laughter.) - Nov. 1, 2004

The only thing I have to say to that is, I'm Dick Cheney and I approve this message. (Laughter and applause.) - Sept. 24, 2004

Mahalo, and good night. (Applause.) - Nov. 1, 2004

Hart Seely is the editor of "Pieces of Intelligence: The Existential Poetry of Donald Rumsfeld."