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Ever-helpful White House spokesperson Dana Perino addresses the curious question of whether Dick Cheney is his own special branch of government:

Q: Do you agree with the contention that the Office of the Vice President is not part of the executive branch?

MS. PERINO: What I know — and I am not a lawyer; and this is an interesting constitutional question that legal scholars can debate and I’m sure you’ll find plenty of them inside the beltway — is that the Vice President has a unique role in our United States government. He is not only the Vice President of the United States, but in that role he is also the President of the Senate. I will let him go ahead and —

Q: So there’s a fourth branch of government.

MS. PERINO: — I will let that debate be held.

So Cheney’s not part of the executive because he’s part of the legislative branch. Fascinating. And you gotta love Perino’s deft use of the old “We’ve Made Up Our Minds, But You’re Welcome to Debate This” move from the Bush Rhetorical Playbook.

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