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Old 01-28-2005, 09:30 PM   #1
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What a Dick

Dick Cheney, Dressing Down
Parka, Ski Cap at Odds With Solemnity of Auschwitz Ceremony

By Robin Givhan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 28, 2005; Page C01


At yesterday's gathering of world leaders in southern Poland to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the United States was represented by Vice President Cheney. The ceremony at the Nazi death camp was outdoors, so those in attendance, such as French President Jacques Chirac and Russian President Vladimir Putin, were wearing dark, formal overcoats and dress shoes or boots. Because it was cold and snowing, they were also wearing gentlemen's hats. In short, they were dressed for the inclement weather as well as the sobriety and dignity of the event.

The vice president, however, was dressed in the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower.

Cheney stood out in a sea of black-coated world leaders because he was wearing an olive drab parka with a fur-trimmed hood. It is embroidered with his name. It reminded one of the way in which children's clothes are inscribed with their names before they are sent away to camp. And indeed, the vice president looked like an awkward boy amid the well-dressed adults.

Like other attendees, the vice president was wearing a hat. But it was not a fedora or a Stetson or a fur hat or any kind of hat that one might wear to a memorial service as the representative of one's country. Instead, it was a knit ski cap, embroidered with the words "Staff 2001." It was the kind of hat a conventioneer might find in a goodie bag.

It is also worth mentioning that Cheney was wearing hiking boots -- thick, brown, lace-up ones. Did he think he was going to have to hike the 44 miles from Krakow -- where he had made remarks earlier in the day -- to Auschwitz?

His wife, Lynne, was seated next to him. Her coat has a hood, too, and it is essentially a parka. But it is black and did not appear to be functioning as either a name tag or a billboard. One wonders if at some point the vice president turned to his wife, took in her attire and asked himself why they seemed to be dressed for two entirely different events.

Some might argue that Cheney was the only attendee with the smarts to dress for the cold and snowy weather. But sometimes, out of respect for the occasion, one must endure a little discomfort.

Just last week, in a frigid, snow-dusted Washington, Cheney sat outside through the entire inauguration without so much as a hat and without suffering frostbite. And clearly, Cheney owns a proper overcoat. The world saw it during his swearing-in as vice president. Cheney treated that ceremony with the dignity it deserved -- not simply through his demeanor, but also through his attire. Would he have dared to take the oath of office with a ski cap on? People would have justifiably considered that an insult to the office, the day, the country.

There is little doubt that intellectually Cheney approached the Auschwitz ceremony with thoughtfulness and respect. But symbolism is powerful. That's why the piercing cry of a train whistle marked the beginning of the ceremony and the glare of searchlights signaled its end. The vice president might have been warm in his parka, ski cap and hiking boots. But they had the unfortunate effect of suggesting that he was more concerned with his own comfort than the reason for braving the cold at all.
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Old 01-28-2005, 10:15 PM   #2
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people always say...dont just me by my exterior. i am who i am inside at the heart of me. how come its ok to say that about ourselves and then harshly judge others because they didnt wear what we thot they should? seems kinda lame on our part.
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Old 01-28-2005, 10:47 PM   #3
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Y'know Clytie, as news stories go, this is a minor one, but the reason it makes the front page of a newspaper like the Wasshington Post is because it is about the international representative of a conservative, Christian administration coming to Auschwitz to pay respects for millions of non-Christian victims of a particulary dark period in modern human history -- a period recent enough that many survivors of Auschwitz, and considerably more family of those survivors, are still living and for whom the ceremonies marking the 60th anniversary of the end of the crimes that took place there represent something the wounds of which will forever run deep.

Cheney has never been much of a warm/fuzzy/caring fellow, so there's not a lot to judge him on other than the shine on his shoes and logo on his knit cap. In this case, he is representing YOU and ME in paying his respects to the victims of Auschwitz. If I had caught him running out the door in that outfit, I certainly would have told him "You run right back upstairs and change into something more befitting the occasion, mister!"

There's a reason American's lose more and more respect from people around the world every day, and why the intentions expressed by the Bush Adminstration for its actions ring false. We've stopped even trying to pretend we care for anyone or anything but ourselves unless our self-interests get the better deal in any international discourse or interaction.

(And don't think for a moment that this clothing gaffe isn't at least somewhat related to the majority of Auchwitz's dead being Jewish. When the Pope dies, I'll bet you a dollah Cheney wears a suit.)
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Old 01-28-2005, 11:59 PM   #4
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Talk about clicking on a thread & being BEYOND disappointed.
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Old 01-29-2005, 12:22 AM   #5
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I bet it was an even bigger disappointment when you realised that Dick had a hood.
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Old 01-29-2005, 03:47 AM   #6
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You know me so well.
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Old 01-30-2005, 12:29 AM   #7
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Dear GOD, he is wearing hiking boots. He looks as though he is about to go on a camping trip.



Did I mention that I used to live across the street from Dick Cheney's brother, Bob?

He lives as a recluse in Bayfield, Colo...
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Old 01-30-2005, 02:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Large Marge
He lives as a recluse ...
As would I if I were Dick Cheney's brother...
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Old 01-30-2005, 02:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smartypants
As would I if I were Dick Cheney's brother...
He was a very kind person, soft-spoken and generous.

Once, when we got 4 feet of snow, he let us borrow his snowblower ...

Another time he called us to tell us there was a bear wandering nearby.

He never had any visitors.
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Old 01-31-2005, 04:32 AM   #10
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^^Really? Is that so! You've lived in a lot of places Lg Marge!
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Old 01-31-2005, 07:20 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by xfox
^^Really? Is that so! You've lived in a lot of places Lg Marge!
Yes, it's so, and yeah, I have.

It's not fun, moving.

I like traveling, but I dislike moving.

I'm just too old now ...
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Old 02-02-2005, 12:23 AM   #12
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Shallow

You all really have too much time on your hands.
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Old 02-02-2005, 12:51 AM   #13
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Symbolism is powerful, especially when communicating with other cultures.

And at that event...you think someone would have commented to him about presentation. Reflects an attitude long endured in more serious examples.
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Old 02-02-2005, 05:56 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Amadillo
You all really have too much time on your hands.
Yes, and you must be terribly busy there at the White House, you know, runnin' the country and all ...
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Old 02-02-2005, 05:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amadillo
You all really have too much time on your hands.
Not shallow. Completely inappropriate. Would he have dressed that way for a funeral?

At any time, feel free to comment on my original post in the F you Bush thread. I've asked you to several times, but apparently this thread needed you more.
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