Vice President Dick Cheney made three campaign appearances in Iowa in September, and his wife was at his side every time. Cheney’s wife, Lynne, has been campaigning with the Vice President this summer and fall, telling audiences how they met and courted — part of a charm offensive to soften Cheney’s image. During an appearance this week in Dubuque, Mrs. Cheney also sought to connect with Iowans by talking about her two great-grandmothers — both of whom stopped in Council Bluffs as they struck out west on the Mormon Trail in the 1850s. “I love thinking that Iowa has played an important role in my life,” Mrs. Cheney told the crowd in Dubuque. She wrote a children’s story about one of those great-grandmothers — Fanny Peck — who at age seven decided to walk the Mormon Trail barefoot in order to save her shoes for Sunday worship services. “However, the first time they stopped, she figured out that having walked barefoot so far, she couldn’t get her shoes on,” Cheney said. Lynne Cheney, though, is a shrewd and influential politician in her own right. She’s past-chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and the author or co-author of seven books. Her political claws came out at the end of this week’s forum in Dubuque, when an audience member offered an invitation to her husband. “I know that you’re a duck hunter, please feel free to come back,” the man said. “Can he bring Nino Scalia?” Mrs. Cheney asked. The Scalia she was referring to is U-S Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who was at the center of a controversy over a case involving Cheney. Scalia went hunting in Louisiana while the Supreme Court was considering Cheney’s appeal. Cheney himself refers to his wife’s political prowess. The Vice President often jokes that if his dad hadn’t been re-assigned to work in Casper, Wyoming, by the Eisenhauer Administration, he would never have met Lynne. “I told a crowd the other night that If it hadn’t been for Eisenhauer’s election victory, Lynne would have married somebody else, and she said ‘Right, and now he’d be Vice President of the United States,” Cheney often says. “There’s no doubt in my mind.”
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