Commentary: Cheney's conduct during CNN interview was unbecoming

This editorial appeared in The Miami Herald.

Leave it to former Vice President Dick Cheney to throw custom and protocol to the winds to engage in partisan sniping with the new administration so soon after the inauguration.

Reprising his role as doomsayer-in-chief, Mr. Cheney told a CNN interviewer that some of the new president's policies raise the risk of another terror attack. It wasn't the first time, either. He said much the same thing in an interview on Feb. 3, less than two weeks after President Barack Obama took office.

Mr. Cheney is entitled to his opinion, but former presidents, vice presidents and senior aides usually withhold criticism at the start of a successor's term for good reason. It's part of the ritual of democracy that underscores respect for electoral outcomes and the continuity of government. Besides, it's not as if Mr. Obama isn't getting an earful every day from his Republican critics in Congress and elsewhere.

This is unbecoming for a former vice president, particularly given the administration's low standing at the end of the second term. Mr. Cheney finished his tenure with a popularity rating of 30 percent, even lower than Mr. Bush's 33 percent.

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