The more this columnist watched Vice President Cheney tour regions of the Middle East, including stops in Oman, Israel, the West Bank and Turkey, the more the deep respect and honor shown him became obvious, which is most encouraging.

Cheney evokes a certain fear and focus that is necessary to resolve many of the conflicts that afflict us at home and abroad. When asked candidly about a Palestinian state during a rare press conference, the vice president said, in no uncertain terms, "Achieving that vision will require tremendous effort at the negotiating table and painful concessions on both sides," adding that "it will also require a determination to defeat those who are committed to violence and who refuse to accept the basic right of the other side to exist."

As much as the media pundits would like to paint him as a Darth Vader, given the unpredictability in this year's election, if Cheney were the Republican nominee he could probably win in November. Of course, not to take anything away from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Cheney’s résumé and experience speak for themselves.

As much as some Americans loathe him, deep down there is this feeling of awe and invincibility that surrounds this man. Despite his low poll numbers and the fact that his heart condition may be a concern for some within Republican circles, many Americans feel that he possesses the leadership and experience qualities that are necessary to move this country beyond the woes we face today.

Consistent media pounding of his character and credibility has caused numerous Americans to seriously overlook the obvious choice to lead this country in these challenging and turbulent times. If Americans were to seriously understand and research this man for themselves, it is pretty obvious they would conclude that they would strongly consider voting for him as president of the United States in November '08 if he were an available choice.

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