Former Vice-President Dick Cheney has jumped into the 2012 campaign with a controversial jab at the selection of the former governor of Alaska as John McCain’s 2008 running mate.
When it comes to choosing a vice presidential nominee, Cheney told ABC’s Jonathan Karl, “I sort of think of it as there are two lists. There is the big list. And it’s got a lot of folks on it.”
And then a smaller list, which is where the real work is done.
“The test to get on that small list has to be, ‘Is this person capable of being president of the United States? [And] I like Governor Palin. I’ve met her. I know her. She [is an] attractive candidate. But based on her background, she’d only been governor for, what, two years. I don’t think she passed that test of being ready to take over. And I think that was a mistake.”
“That one, I don’t think was well handled,” said Cheney about the 2008 selection of Palin.
Many in the media are interpreting Cheney’s comment as an endorsement of a more conventional choice for VP, like Rob Portman or Tim Pawlenty, rather than a flashy pick like Marco Rubio or Condi Rice.
Cheney oversaw the running mate selection process in 2000 for then-Governor George W. Bush, which eventually resulted in the candidate tossing aside Cheney’s work and asking the former Defense Secretary to join the ticket.