Vice President Dick Cheney sent his get-well wishes to ABC anchor Peter Jennings Wednesday night -- Jennings has been diagnosed with lung cancer -- then added the same for Fox News' Tony Snow, who has colon cancer.
The Vice President was speaking to a ballroom crowded with radio and television Hill correspondents gathered for the Radio And Television Correspondents Association annual awards dinner in Washington.
Cheney appeared to be making some news, saying flatly telling the crowd that he had "no intention of running for the presidential nomination in 2008." Then came the punch line: "But I will lead the search committee for the next nominee (Cheney led Bush's search for a VP, which wound up at Cheney's own front door).
Cheney was subbing for the President, who had been scheduled to speak per tradition but was in Rome for the Pope's funeral Friday.
The Vice President dispensed with all but a couple of the string of self-deprecating jokes and barbs aimed at reporters that are the traditional currency of the presidential speech, instead instead using his time to praise the Pope, bestowing on him the sparingly used honoriffic John Paul the Great, which many believe the Vatican will ultimately officially do as well.
There were two reporting awards given out. The first, the Joan Barone award for Washington based national affairs coverage went to CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley for her "insightful under deadline pressure" coverage of the 2004 presidential campaign.
The second, the second annual David Bloom award for enterprise reporting, went to Nightline for a story about injured Iraqi soldiers in a burn unit in Texas. Fittingly, the award came on the second anniversary of NBC correspondet Bloom's death in Iraq.
Nightline correspondent and principal substitute anchor Chris Bury accepted the award for anchor Ted Koppel and the Nightline staff. Koppel had wanted to be there, but had "said something about a job interview," said Bury, to knowing groans from the audience.
Koppel is exiting in December after having declined to remain with the network after his contract is up.
Bury also took the opportunity to send his wishes for a speedy recovery to Jennings, who he said has "the toughest assignment of his career."