Lesson No. 1 - Don't do this.
Dick Cheny, like all former politicians, will denounce the people that took power after his administration if they are of the opposing party. That's the way it works.
If you're the president, you don't even grant the guy the dignity of a response. By doing so, you elevate the malcontent to your own level.
Obama doesn't need to defend his choices to Cheney. He's the president. If he's so worried about keeping the best face on his policies, he's got tons of policy wonks that will gleefully spout out the latest talking points on the major networks.
That's their job, to parrot the president's beliefs. The president's job is to lead the country. When he takes it upon himself to counterattack, he's being
And by doing so, he's playing into the Republican's hands.