​Sharp talk from Dick and Liz Cheney

No need to ask former Vice-President Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz what the nature of their family business might be. It's politics, of course ... politics of a famously outspoken sort. Lee Cowan recently met with them on their own home ground:

Lee Cowan caught up with the former Vice President in one of his favorite spots -- drifting down the south fork of the Snake River in Idaho, fly rod in hand, matching wits with the trout.

"Got him!" he said, before releasing him again. "Cutthroat!"

"No matter what other worries or problems you may have, or are dealing with, you really focus on what you're doing and put your other cares aside. They don't count as much when you're out here."

Not too long ago, this kind of retirement for Dick Cheney -- not far from his home in scenic Jackson Hole, Wyoming -- looked pretty iffy. His failing heart used to get almost as many headlines as he did.

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Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter, Liz, with correspondent Lee Cowan.
CBS News

But in 2012, this grandfather of seven got a heart transplant -- and suddenly, everything changed.

"I've just been back in for my three-year checkup, and it's nothing short of miraculous," he said.

At 74, he's regained the look of his days in office, reminders of which popped up again last month with the release of previously unseen photos taken on September 11, 2001. They show Cheney first dealing with the crisis in the White House bunker, then being whisked away to that now-famous "undisclosed location."


"It was a remarkable day, a tragic day, in terms of the loss of life and the extraordinary set of circumstances we had to face with," he said.

And a day that shaped one of the most controversial Vice Presidencies in history.

"How did that day change you personally?" Cowan asked. "Not from a policy standpoint, but change you?"

"Well, it's been alleged, by some of my friends, that 9/11 did change Cheney," he replied. "That when he was Secretary of Defense under the first Bush administration, he was a warm, pleasant, lovable fellow, and he became more of a hard rock afterwards. And I think it's probably true. It changed -- well, it changed the way I looked at the world."

The way he looks at the world is pretty well known by now; Dick Cheney is unapologetically hawkish.