Former Vice President Dick Cheney sat down with Jamie Gangel (Today Show National Correspondent) for his first television interview since his most recent heart surgery. He weighed in on a variety of issues and topics which will undoubtedly receive a great deal of coverage from all points Left, Right, and in between; but he also showed the other side of the Former Vice President – one that is reserved and comfortable both in his own skin and in his new surroundings.
While I certainly appreciated the closer look into the day-to-day life of the former second in command, I was extremely intrigued by the device that now keeps him going. After having a series of heart surgeries over the course of the last decade, he has now been “blessed” with a cutting edge heart pump that looks like something out of a science fiction movie.
Cheney referred to the new heart pump (LVAD, Left Ventricular Assist Device) that has been “installed” in his chest as a “wonder of modern technology.” As you can see at the opening of the interview, he wears a vest which houses a control element, two batteries -one on each hip (good for 12 hours), and a cord that runs to a pump on the inside of his chest. This thing is awesome. It plays a bit to the old “Darth Vader” narrative, but its keeping him ticking and he doesn’t seem to mind.
I have to admit that my initial reaction was to feel sorry for Mr. Cheney. Its a terrible shame to see such a powerful man reduced to such unfortunate circumstances; but then as the interview went on, I realized my sympathy was rather unwarranted. He seems perfectly content with his new set up. He’s visibly lost a great deal of weight, but other than that he seems like the same old Dick.
He’s working on his memoirs, which he says he writes longhand, with the assistance of his daughter Liz. When asked about the content of the book – regrets, impressions, settling old scores, etc. – Cheney says he has “a bit of sense” that he’ll “get the last word.”
I have no doubt.
H/T EMS 12 Lead and Heartfailure.org for the photo