Former Vice President Dick Cheney should be the model vice president, says former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

While people are still talking about Dick Cheney’s slam against Sarah Palin in which he calls John McCain’s selection of the former Alaska governor as a running mate “a mistake,” American Enterprise Institute scholar and Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen writes that what Cheney was really trying to say is that Romney should pick somebody like him.

But I think Cheney’s point – though he is too modest to put it this way – is that Romney needs to pick someone like Dick Cheney. George W. Bush didn’t put Cheney on the ticket to win Wyoming’s one electoral vote. He picked him because he was a) a strong conservative, and b) someone who was ready to step into the Oval Office from Day One.

That is precisely what Mitt Romney needs: someone who, like Cheney, is seen by conservatives as one of their own, and, like Cheney, will be taken seriously from the get-go as a potential president of the United States.

In addition to being taken seriously as the potential president, Romney is in need of a running mate who can get energize conservative voters, says Thiessen. This two-part test isn’t exactly novel, but it’s apparently worth a reminder following the criticism of McCain’s 2008 Palin choice.

And who makes the short-list? For Thiessen, there’s no short-list — only Paul Ryan.

When I think of Dick Cheney passing the torch to whom he sees has the strongest political family resemblance, I don’t exactly think of Paul Ryan. But maybe I’m overlooking something.

Who do you see passing Thiessen’s two-part test in a Cheney-like way? Or do you even think the Cheney model should be followed in the first place?