Who Says Dick Cheney Has No Heart?

Dick Cheney has a new heart. The former vice president and Guinness World Record aspirant with five heart attacks since his late 30s, got a heart transplant on Saturday after waiting more than 20 months on a transplant list.

I am impressed with the fact that he waited 20 months and didn’t use his political and financial influence to jump ahead to the front of the line. It shows there was a large measure of good in Cheney’s previous and much publicized bad heart.

“Although the former Vice President and his family do not know the identity of the donor, they will be forever grateful for this lifesaving gift,” Cheney aide Kara Ahern said in a statement issued Saturday night. Ahern said Cheney “is thankful to the teams of doctors and other medical professionals at Inova Fairfax and George Washington University Hospital for their continued outstanding care.”

Unknown donor? You can be sure the tabloids are on that story. A month from now we’ll find out Cheney’s new heart came from a 43-year-old poetry major at Berkeley who was living with her 13 cats in a sublet in West Oakland.

While Cheney has had a bad heart for years, he has, at times, had a big heart when it comes to the issue of same sex marriage. As recently as last month he lobbied for the passage of same sex marriage legislation in Maryland, alongside his openly-lesbian daughter Mary Cheney.

The 71-year-old former Vice President believes same sex marriage should be legalized on a state-by-state basis and that the federal government has no place in such matters. That must make for good conversation at Republican retreats, in between the oil wrestling and games of Risk using live actors.

I suspect he won’t be receiving get well cards from former Bush II cabinet members, Colin Powell or Condoleeza Rice.

Oh, the possibilities!