Cable networks to cover Cheney speech live, right after Obama

Dick Cheney's speech tomorrow on national security will be carried live on the cable networks immediately following President Obama's address on similar topics, giving the former Vice President a huge platform to pick a fight with Obama.

Greg Sargent reports that CNN and MSNBC will cut to Cheney at 10:45 AM, right after Obama's major address at 10AM. (Sargent simply assumes that Fox News will do the same, which is probably a correct assumption.)

Democrats and liberal bloggers are already pushing back against the notion that Cheney's opinion is somehow equivalent to the President's. It's certainly true that what the President of the United States has to say about national security will have more implications for U.S. policy than the former Vice President's thoughts, but the scheduling of these two addresses, as well as the network's willingness to cover Cheney, may at least partially undermine the White House's goal for tomorrow's address.

The administration is hoping to use tomorrow's speech to cool down the heated debate surrounding interrogation policy, Pelosi's spat with the CIA, the decision not to release photos of detainee abuse, the closing of Guantanamo Bay, etc. It's the same tactic Obama applied to the economy in an April 14th address at Georgetown University.

Now that Cheney--Obama's most visible opponent on the issues he'll address--will effectively rebut the President on live TV, one has to wonder if tomorrow's events will simply add fuel to the fire.