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Cheney’s Hunting Flap: Will It Help or Hurt?

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).

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Mr. Lewis has managed political campaigns and served as director of grassroots for the Leadership Institute, as well as political director for GOPAC. In 2002, Campaigns & Elections magazine selected him as a "Rising Star of Politics." He is the author of "Teaching Elephants to Talk." His blog can be read at

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