Found Object: Cheney’s Priors

In this week’s New Yorker, Nicholas Lemann observes that Vice President Dick Cheney has

an effect like that of being hooked up to an intravenous line that delivers a powerful timed dosage of serotonin re-uptake inhibitors. Everything felt kind of evened out, no highs, no lows. He wasn’t going to be flaky or half-baked, he wasn’t going to let his emotions distort his views, and he certainly wasn’t going to be soft or naïve. … All the time Cheney was talking, I was imagining what it must be like for President Bush to get hooked up to the I.V. several times each day, the first dose coming at eight in the morning.

Of course, Cheney wasn’t always so hyper-responsible. As Cheney describes it to Lemann,

When I should have been graduating from Yale, one of the world’s finer universities, with a first-rate education, all paid for by the university, I found myself in Rock Springs working, building power lines, having been in a couple of scrapes with the law. Arrested twice within a year for driving under the influence, once inCheyenne, once inRock Springs. And it was sobering–I’m not sure that’s the right word. Sobering moment. Sit down and think about where I was and where I was headed. I was headed down a bad road, if I continued on that course.

Cheney re-enrolled in college, this time at the University of Wyoming, married Lynne Vincent, and the rest is history. But what about those DWI arrests? Well, the Smoking Gun has unearthed two documents about the two incidents, one from November 1962 and one from July 1963. Like Cheney himself, they don’t reveal much about Cheney’s wilder days, but Chatterbox thought readers might want to assess their  negative capability.