Lynne Cheney

An Outspoken Voice, a Respected Author

Near the woods that overlook Lake Mendota, Lynne Cheney PhD1970 and her husband lived in an unassuming Eagle Heights apartment in the late 1960s while she studied 19th-century British literature.

It was the beginning of a career that, for Cheney, embraced public service, made her an outspoken conservative voice, and produced six best-selling books.

Her husband, Dick (attended 1966 to 1968), who worked on his doctorate in political science while the two lived there, went on to become a high-level political operative, CEO of Halliburton, and a two-term vice president under George W. Bush.

Lynne Cheney posing for a photo.

Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, photographed in her New York hotel suite, Thursday May 2, 2002. She holds a copy of her book, “America, A Patriotic Primer.” (Image courtesy of AP Photos.)

During her time as the nation’s Second Lady. Lynne Cheney carved out her own niche, unafraid to criticize liberal feminist dogma, sexualized rap-music lyrics and video games, and left-wing orthodoxy. Her views landed her on CNN’s Crossfire Sunday for three years in the 1990s.

She railed against political correctness in education.

“In freshman composition classes from coast to coast, many students are being taught not about the well-composed paragraph, but about how deeply mired in racism, sexism, and capitalism our nation is and about the necessity of transforming it into the vision of the left,” she said.

Bob Beckel, who articulated the liberal position versus Cheney on CNN, said of her, “Her attitude is, ‘You want to argue? Okay, we’ll argue. You get in my face, and we’ll see who wins.’”

Cheney also served as chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1986 to 1993.

Her 2014 book, James Madison: A Life Reconsidered, drew rave reviews. Attracted by Madison’s determination, she researched it over a 27-year span.

“Madison was very steady in his beliefs, very fixed to them,” Cheney said. “If you’re an advocate of limited government, Madison is your guy.”

She was reminded of the fourth president and his conflicts with Britain as she was evacuated from Washington, DC, after the 9/11 attacks.

“When Dick and I left by helicopter from the South Lawn of the White House,” she said, “we could see smoke from the Pentagon. Both of us thought about the War of 1812, and how it was the last time this had happened.”