WASHINGTON – Vice President Cheney’s youngest daughter loathed being a gay GOP “poster girl” or known as his “lesbian daughter” in last year’s presidential race.

But, with a memoir coming out next year, it can’t hurt.

Mary Cheney, 35, on Tuesday signed with Bush strategist Mary Matalin’s conservative imprint at Simon & Schuster to pen a book on being “a political target for the other side,” she said in a statement.

Besides memories of working on her dad’s campaigns since age 8, the former Coors executive will finally respond to Democratic nominee John Kerry, who raised her homosexuality.

“She never wanted to be the poster girl … for gay issues,” Matalin said. “She doesn’t exist to be the lesbian daughter of the vice president.”

But her sexual identity will be a major topic of the tome, which will try to appeal to conservatives, liberals and gays, Matalin said.

The publisher said Cheney will take a shot at “buffoonish” Republican Alan Keyes, who labeled her a “selfish hedonist.”

“(Mary) was very dismissive of Keyes. People that degrading don’t register on her radar screen,” Matalin said.

Cheney kept publicly mum in the campaign so she would not “step on the message,” Matalin added.

That explanation didn’t impress gay liberal blogger John Aravosis. His “Dear Mary” Web site ridiculed her silence on issues such as President Bush’s call for a gay-marriage ban.

“She won’t stand up to defend her community, but she’ll stand up to make (money on a book),” Aravosis said.

Another gay blogger, conservative Andrew Sullivan, said, “I’m glad she’s speaking up. Finally.”


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