Cheney Explains That He Meant to Criticize McCain’s Palin ‘Mistake,’ Not Palin Herself

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Photo: SAUL LOEB/2011 AFP

Dick Cheney is stepping back from some week-old observations he made about John McCain's ill-fated choice of Sarah Palin as his 2008 running mate, which the former vice-president called "not well-handled" and "a mistake." The comments were widely (and, it seems, mostly correctly) interpreted as a criticism of Palin, forcing Cheney to offer up a clarification — or something like that — during an interview with Sean Hannity taped earlier tonight.

"I was asked if I thought the McCain process in ‘08 had been well done or was it a mistake and I said I thought it was a mistake. That’s not … meant so much as a criticism of Governor Palin as it is that I just thought it was not — the process didn’t meet the standards I would like to see our candidate pursue when they pick a — a running mate."

So, basically, Cheney repeated what he'd said before — though it's possible that his Palinesque delivery might be enough to confuse some people into thinking he meant something else.