Magazine article Newsweek

From an Unlikely Perch, 'SLOTUS' Takes Control: Lynne Cheney Is as Hot as Her Husband Is Cool

Magazine article Newsweek

From an Unlikely Perch, 'SLOTUS' Takes Control: Lynne Cheney Is as Hot as Her Husband Is Cool

Article excerpt

Lynne Cheney is small, blond and, when necessary, fierce. Her forceful personality was on display last week at the hospital as she quizzed doctors and protected her husband's privacy. "She was a commanding, impenetrable presence," says Mary Matalin, an adviser to the vice president. "My wife is in control of my food supply," the veep joked in a TV interview, but he heeds her as well on politics and policy. Mrs. Cheney dislikes being called the Second Lady. (Her kids teasingly call her SLOTUS, a play on POTUS, the White House acronym for president of the United States.) But she is the first vice president's wife to wield real power--both as her husband's closest adviser and in her own right.

From her perch at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington think tank, Mrs. Cheney will be an important ambassador of the Bush administration in the culture wars. She is writing a book on education reform, plunging herself headlong into the debate over phonics, the use of phonetics to teach reading. The president's aides believe that she will be able to rally the Republican base better than little-known Education Secretary Rod Paige. A former host of CNN's "Crossfire," she understands the power of the press better than almost anyone in the tight-lipped Bush administration. She was the one who really lobbied to get fellow "Crossfire" veteran Matalin hired onto the vice president's staff even though President Bush felt she could be too much of a showboat. …

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