I predict Dick Cheney’s little hunting accident won’t hurt him politically, and may actually help him.
See, there are gaffes and then there are lethal mistakes. A lethal mistake in politics is a mistake that reinforces a negative that people already believe. For example, Mike Dukakis in a tank reinforced what people already believed: Democrats are weak on defense.
What does this gaffe underscore? That Cheney goes hunting…
In most of America, that’s a good thing. You can’t imagine John Kerry or Al Gore going hunting (in a year they aren’t running for president…that is). By going hunting with an old buddy, Mr. Cheney is showing that he is, in fact, a regular guy. This incident just underscores the image of Republicans as “regular guys.”
And because nobody was seriously injured, this whole thing will blow over in a few days and be viewed as almost laughable.
What is more, the Cheney “shooting story” has taken a lot of media attention away from Iraq and Abramoff (for at least a day).