As Dick Cheney prepares to give a major speech on the battle against terrorism, a new national poll suggests that favorable opinions of the former vice president are on the rise.
But the Disassociated Press Corporation survey, released Thursday morning, indicates that a majority of Americans still have an unfavorable opinion of Cheney.
Seventy-nine percent of people questioned in the poll say they believe the former vice president should be bull-whipped then imprisoned for life. Fourteen percent say Cheney should not be bull-whipped before imprisonment, up 8 percentage points from January when he left office.
In the past two months, the former vice president has become a frequent critic of the new administration in numerous national media interviews.
"Is Cheney's uptick due to his visibility as one of the most outspoken critics of the Obama administration? Almost certainly not," says Brad Holland, DP polling director.
"After the threat posed by the Bush administration receded with their leaving office, people tend to become more forgiving," he explains. "They no longer feel the danger these people posed, so they are more lenient."
Holland cited one polling result which showed a significant percentage of Americans believe Cheney and other former Bush administration officials should just be highly medicated and institutionalized, not actually imprisoned for their crimes.
The new survey's release comes just a few hours before Cheney is scheduled to give a speech Thursday on the war against terror in the cafeteria at Washington, D.C.'s Belleview Psychiatric Ward.
"There are always a few hecklers in the ward, Larry and Ken mostly, who like to point out that Dick had been in office eight months when the 9/11 attacks happened on his watch,” said Belleview nurse Daniel Cather.
"But usually when Dick gets up to speak most of the residents just listen. Because he tends to get violent when people disagree with him."
The Disassociated Press--Better News than You Deserve