I nominate the entire night time line up of MSNBC to be "Obama's Dick Cheney".
The come the closest to the left wing version of Dick Cheney that I can think of.
Obama, Biden and many others are still running against Bush and Cheney in their every move. Bringing a "Dick Cheney" on board would likely have the reverse results.
The reason for that surprise is simple. Obama and his staff have proven policy chops but are terrible at politics—they cannot, or will not, sell their ideas, especially in a sharp-elbowed partisan climate. It is a bizarre political universe in which the passage of health-care reform is actually being used to campaign against Democratic politicians.
The need for a shameless political consigliere in the Obama White House is counterintuitive because the Obama campaign was particularly effective in 2008 by avoiding the perception of being a hard-nosed political operation. But like his presidency, that victory was characterized by meticulous planning and a reliance on its leader's charisma. Instead of trying to set the agenda on the trail, Obama was consistently forced to mop up situations with searing speeches. He is still reactive, not proactive.
Which is a shame because, since he took office, his achievements are a marketer's dream. In less than two years, in addition to health-care reform, Obama has passed, or will pass, financial reform, a repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," a monumental stimulus package—including $60 billion for renewable and clean energy—a hate-crimes-prevention act, and student-loan reform. He won the Nobel Peace Prize and signed a progressive nuclear-arms treaty with Russia.
And yet almost all those achievements have been spun into embarrassments for the administration. Death panels. Wall Street crony. Anti–Wall Street. Socialist takeover. Weakening the military. Which other White House has so consistently disguised victory as defeat? Which other recipient of the Nobel Prize has ever been forced to bury the news?