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TOP OF THE TICKET

Solitaire and sports on the statehouse floor

Connecticut lawmakers aren't entirely tuned in to a colleague. Meanwhile, a newspaper columnist has just the man for the GOP in 2012: Dick Cheney.

September 06, 2009|Andrew Malcolm and Johanna Neuman

Everybody knows how intellectually and physically demanding it is to be an elected official in modern times.

You have to ask for people's money to ask for people's votes regularly.

You have to spend other people's money all the time.

You must thoroughly listen to long legislative debates and important discussions.

You must get yelled at in town hall meetings.

You must look like you're working and paying attention when, in fact, you aren't.

Check out the computer screens of these Connecticut House members (photograph at right) as a colleague speaks passionately about something or other to do with the budget on Aug. 31.

Now, about banning photographers from the House floor. . . .

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Cheney in 2012?

When George W. Bush selected Dick Cheney to be his running mate in 2000, some political observers thought it was a smart move.

Now, nine years later, having survived heart seizures and eight years in the Bush administration, Cheney has emerged as an energizing force, becoming the most outspoken Bush-era critic of the Obama administration.

The former vice president has turned into a media pit bull, accusing the new president of putting the country at risk by closing the Guantanamo Bay prison and banning torture, and accusing Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. of politicizing the fight against terrorism by investigating CIA interrogators.

Now comes James Taranto, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, who is suggesting that Cheney would be a terrific presidential candidate in 2012.

If national security emerges as the key issue in the election, he says, "Republicans would be wise to nominate someone with both toughness and experience. Under such circumstances, it's hard to think of a better candidate -- assuming, of course, that he could be persuaded to run."

The calculus: If the Afghanistan war worsens, it will become Obama's war. And if terrorists attack this country again, a fierce voice on national security might have a chance.

Plus, Cheney is writing his memoirs, a sure route to the presidency.

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andrew malcolm@latimes.com

Top of the Ticket, The Times' blog on national politics (), is a blend of commentary, analysis and news. These are excerpts from the last week.

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