How a Veep on the Lam Kept on Fund Raising

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Vice President Dick Cheney

Vice President Dick Cheney's stop on the 'Tonight Show' last week signaled a new visibility after his time in the bunker. But if you happen to be a GOP donor, there's a good chance you've seen plenty of the Veep since he all but vanished from public view after Sept. 11.

Republican officials confirm to Time that Cheney was the star attraction of at least three party fund raisers during the period he was ostensibly holed up in "secure, undisclosed locations." Two of the events for GOP congressional leaders fell just a few days after the White House's Dec. 3 public warning of possible new terrorist strikes. On Dec. 6, Cheney traveled to Dallas to address 1,200 people at a dinner for majority leader Dick Armey's special-election fund. The following day the Vice President arrived at Oklahoma City's Petroleum Club for a $1,000-a-person fund raiser for House GOP conference chairman J.C. Watts. Cheney also attended a fund raiser for Senate GOP leader Trent Lott's leadership fund. That reception at the Willard Hotel, an ornate Washington landmark, was packed with lobbyists. Cheney spokeswoman Jennifer Millerwise said the fund raisers had been prescheduled, and were not the only events Cheney attended during that time.