Gotta love the guy — and many Americans do!

Back in 2000 during the vice presidential debates, many Americans thought the VP candidates performed better than the presidential candidates at their debates. Joe Lieberman and Dick Cheney were compelling, smart, funny, quick on their feet, and Cheney in particular showed himself to be a very serious man who understood the seriousness of the position.

Cheney stayed behind the scenes during most of his tenure as vice president. But the Dick Cheney of the 2000 VP debates is back — and not a moment too soon!

I remember watching that debate — before Sept. 11, 2001, or any hint of the horror to come — and being extremely impressed with Cheney. His seriousness wasn't intimidating. It was comforting. I said at the time that when or if something "bad" were to happen to the United States, I wanted THAT guy in room helping to deal with it. I didn't care if he was president, vice president, secretary of State or the freakin' first lady. I knew I wanted Dick Cheney in the room and at the table when the big decisions were made.

His recent interviews outlining why the United States must use strong interrogation methods, including waterboarding, with those who are committed to killing Americans reminds me of why I've always felt pretty good about the guy. The jabs and jokes comparing him to Darth Vader simply make me grateful he was there when we needed him and that he doesn't care if the left targets him, hates him or loves him. That's pretty crazy cool, actually.

In the age of TV sound bites and international "diplomacy" that could be handled on Oprah's couch, it's a relief that a serious man who was involved in serious matters actually takes them — seriously.