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Lynne Cheney pronounces vice president fit

Lynne Cheney
Lynne Cheney  

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- He's had four heart attacks and he's handling a tough job during a difficult time, but Vice President Dick Cheney is doing just fine, his wife told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in an interview aired Monday.

"I think when you've lived with coronary artery disease as long as we have, you sort of become experts on these things, like what stress really means," she said in the interview, taped Friday.

"Right now, Dick is doing something he's spent his whole life preparing to do. He's calling on all of his talents and all of his skills and all of his accumulated knowledge. And I think there's a certain kind of, I don't know, satisfaction, maybe, a serenity that comes with that."

In fact, she said, "I think that he's having a remarkable time and is not feeling stressed in the least."

Nevertheless, Mrs. Cheney was not prepared to say whether she would be happy if her husband chose to run on a Bush ticket in 2004.

"You know, I can't even imagine 2004, it seems so far away," she said. "What is that? Three years away?

"It's certainly not a subject of conversation at our house," she added.

Cheney, 60, who has a long history of heart trouble, was fitted with an implanted cardioverter defibrillator last summer to keep his heart pumping in rhythm.

The former congressman, defense secretary and White House chief of staff has suffered four heart attacks since 1978. The most recent came after the election in November 2000. He underwent angioplasty treatment to open a clogged artery in March.

Before September 11, Cheney shouldered a larger-than-normal share of leadership tasks. Since the attacks, he has kept a lower profile as he and President Bush have largely stayed in separate locations.


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