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Cheney: Leadership transition to be 'smooth'

The Bush administration will make a "smooth and graceful transition of power" to the new president, Vice President Dick Cheney said Saturday.
Cheney VMI
Vice President Dick Cheney reviews the Virginia Military Corps cadets as part of Military Appreciation Day at the college before his speech in Lexington, Va., on Saturday.Don Petersen / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

The Bush administration will make a "smooth and graceful transition of power" to the new president who must protect the U.S. from enemies that continue to test the country on many fronts, Vice President Dick Cheney said Saturday.

"In the struggle at hand the stakes remain high, but I am confident of the outcome," Cheney said in an address at Virginia Military Institute in front of about 3,000 people. "Those who hate America are no match for those who love America."

Addressing the 1,350 members of the Corps of Cadets assembled on the school's parade grounds, Cheney said he had confidence in their ability to watch over the nation as long as it remains at war.

"And as President Bush and I finish our terms of office, we will ensure smooth and graceful transition of power to President-Elect Obama and Vice President-Elect Biden, as they take up the duty of protecting America," Cheney said in his third visit to the school in Lexington.

Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III, VMI's superintendent, said 1,200 alumni have served or are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and 11 of them have been killed. Another 63 members of the Corps of Cadets and nine staff members have been called to active duty in those two countries.

After returning to Washington from Lexington, doctors scanned Cheney's knees to evaluate long-standing arthritis.

The X-rays were done at the Malcolm Grow Medical Center at Andrews Air Force Base. Cheney's office said the x-rays will be interpreted by the vice president's doctors at George Washington University Hospital.

After the exam, Cheney boarded a helicopter and flew to his residence in St. Michaels, Md.

The last time Cheney had his knees X-rayed for the arthritis was in June 2005. That same year, Cheney had surgery to repair an arterial aneurysm on the back of each knee.