For an hour on Tuesday, former Vice President Dick Cheney was back in the House chamber where he once served.
Cheney sat on the House floor, second row from the front on the GOP side, playing the role of the proud patriarch to his daughter Liz who took the oath to serve in the job Cheney himself had from 1979 to 1989: sole House member from Wyoming.
As he waited for the roll call vote on the speaker, Cheney chatted amiably with several House members who walked over to pay their respects, including Republicans Joe L. Barton of Texas, John J. Faso of New York, John Shimkus of Illinois and Jackie Walorski of Indiana.
In a quick interview in the speaker’s lobby just before escorting his grandsons onto the House floor to watch Liz Cheney take the oath, the former vice president — looking much more the frail senior citizen than many may remember — said the kind of things proud dads say.
“It’s a very special occasion for us. My daughter Liz is the newly elected member from Wyoming — this is something I did 38 years ago when I was a beginning member of the House.”
Asked whether those House years were the happiest years of his public career, Cheney didn’t want to go quite that far.
“Well, I had a great career, but I thought I’d found a home here in the House and I did 10 years. And I thought I was going to spend my whole career here — I love the House. It’s a fantastic institution and a great time to be here.”
Did Cheney have any advice for his daughter as she starts her House career?
“She’ll do very well,” he responded, “and if she wants my advice, she’ll ask for it. And otherwise, I don’t offer it.”