Audio: Hannity endorses Liz Cheney in Wyoming

posted at 6:31 pm on July 19, 2013 by Allahpundit

I wasn’t sure whether big-name conservatives would sit back and wait to see how things shake out in Wyoming before taking a side or whether the Enzi/Cheney contest would quickly turn into an arms race for endorsements. Maybe this is an early clue. Talk radio will, I assume, be solidly behind her. Enzi will get a bunch of endorsements from his Senate colleagues, which isn’t entirely bad for Cheney since it feeds into her “me against the establishment” message. What she needs to counter Rand Paul is a major tea-party pol. Ted Cruz would be a big get, but who knows if he wants to risk his political capital on this. If he goes in there, issues the big endorsement, and she ends up flattened anyway by Enzi’s popularity, it’s a stumble. He’ll be a late endorser, I take it, assuming he gets in at all.

The Guardian’s Harry Enten is bearish on Cheney’s chances, especially after today’s poll:

The problem for Cheney is there really doesn’t seem to be any area to exploit. As I noted on Wednesday, Enzi simply isn’t vulnerable on his right flank like other Republicans to go down in a primary over the past few years. Senators like Bob Bennett and Dick Lugar were among the top ten most liberal Republicans in the Senate. Enzi was the 11th most conservative member of the Senate last Congress. Wyoming’s other Senator John Barrasso was right next to Enzi at 12th most.

Indeed, there are very little policy differences between Enzi and her. She can try to play up her opposition to the internet sales tax, though that’s an issue that split Republicans down the middle. Moreover, how many people actually will vote on that issue? Most would agree that those voters would be few and far between.

Cheney, meanwhile, is likely vulnerable on her favoring of gay marriage. The Republican controlled state legislature not only didn’t get marriage passed this past year, but it couldn’t even get through a watered down domestic partnership law. A poll taken in next door more liberal Montana showed that 84% of Republicans were against gay marriage (pdf).

Yeah, her position on gay marriage is a fascinating dark-horse issue here. If she closes the gap and Enzi gets nervous, this may become one of the last major elections in America in which SSM plays a major role in deciding the outcome. I agree with her on that one but most conservatives don’t. If the race is close near the end and Enzi hammers her as being too liberal on a key social issue, will the righties who want “a fighter” in the Senate instead of him cast the gay marriage issue aside as (mostly) irrelevant? That would be quite a win for SSM, whatever you think of Cheney or Enzi.

This race is fascinating for lots of reasons, in fact, which is why I keep writing about it. A candidate named “Cheney” is somehow the grassroots upstart and a guy who’s been in the Senate for nearly 20 years is being championed by Rand Paul. Enzi’s basically an unknown quantity to Republicans nationally but he’s fantastically popular in his home state; Cheney’s a fairly well known figure nationally thanks to her media presence but she’s accused of being a carpetbagger in Wyoming. More than any of that, this race is, I think, the first attempt to primary a Republican since the tea party got rolling that has almost nothing to do with policy. No one’s seriously accusing Enzi of being a centrist squish like Bob Bennett or Mike Castle. Even Hannity notes here that Enzi ended up voting against ObamaCare after initially working with Democrats on it. The objection to him appears to be almost entirely stylistic: Cheney will stand in the well and attack Obama for betraying American values, then end up casting a vote for gay marriage later. Enzi will say nothing, then cast a vote against it. There probably is a meaningful difference between Cheney and Enzi on foreign policy, the former being very hawkish and the latter pretty hawkish, but I don’t know how much we’ll see of that in the primary or how much most conservatives even want to see of it given the party’s ambivalence about interventionism right now. Hannity accuses Enzi of being an 80/20 guy, but Orrin Hatch has always been an 80/20 guy too (at best, as the boss emeritus will tell you) and he earned Hannity’s endorsement in 2012 thanks to his help in getting conservative justices confirmed. (The latest entry on the “20” side of the ledger for Hatch is voting for the egregious Schumer/Rubio amnesty bill. I haven’t heard Cheney speak at length on immigration yet.) Point being, the proposed upgrade here appears to be mainly rhetorical, in Cheney’s greater willingness to engage the left. The question is whether she’s an 80/20 person on policy too, and what her 20 percent consists of. No way to know yet, but finding out is another one of those things that make this fascinating.

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She’s a carpetbagger. As a senator she should be interested in the views of the people of WY and I don’t see that. I see her as someone who is more interested in making a name for herself, on daddy’s coat tails, at the national level and at the expense of the constituents. She knows that WY is an easy Republican win in the general election, her hardest fight is going to be getting Enzi out of the way.

Russ86 on July 20, 2013 at 12:01 AM

When you google Liz Cheney on amnesty you draw a blank. All the google results seem to just be other people asking the same question. That’s really bizarre, because immigration is a top profile issue, and in all these years to never even once have made any comment or stated a position on it?

Funny though how the whole gang including Hannity lining up behind her now are all big pushers of amnesty.

anotherJoe on July 20, 2013 at 12:56 AM

Well spotted, anotherJoe.

David Blue on July 20, 2013 at 1:53 AM

“Before I vote, I’d like to know what Sean Hannity thinks.” –No One Ever

Shump on July 20, 2013 at 2:03 AM

People are going back and forth on Mark Levin here.

My opinion, as someone who until recently listened to him daily since ’08, he’s just a radio entertainer. Rather than car-talk, or celebrity gossip, his schtick is Liberty and the Constitution and railing against the Left and the GOP establishment. He puts on a good act that he’s about action and making real change, but in the end it’s just claptrap and he’s an entertainer and nothing more. He’s had numerous opportunities to step up into true dissident status, but he’s balked every time. I’m sad to finally admit that Rupert Frumpkin was right about him all along.

He would do better to stick to all dog-talk all the time.

sartana on July 20, 2013 at 2:21 AM

So Hannity has moved to the Dark Side. He is endorsing the socially liberal candidate instead of the socially conservative one.

Rose on July 19, 2013 at 7:19 PM


I’m so sick of these neocon hawks who p***** away our political capital on their unpopular wars, then turning around and having the gall to blame “social conservatives” for GOP failures at the polls.

Go away, Cheney.

Dreadnought on July 20, 2013 at 3:52 AM

This is just “Fox News commentator strokes Fox news commentator.”

She will lose in the primary. The real question is whether after losing the primary, she runs as an independent.

Captain Kirock on July 20, 2013 at 4:05 AM

Why she wants to bang her head against a wall in WY is beyond me.

She could spend time in a place she actually lives more, like VA, and build up a base to go against one of the D Senators here and get a lot more traction, visibility and support. Basically from the West Coast to the Mountain West she has little that attracts voters, but if she really wants to do something she could actually look to run in a place where she just might be a viable candidate. As it is this sounds more like an R Establishment kamikaze run against a conservative R Senator. Just another example of the Stupid Party putting the function into dysfunction.

ajacksonian on July 20, 2013 at 7:14 AM

F*** Hannity.

iwasbornwithit on July 20, 2013 at 7:34 AM

Stopped listening to Hannity long time ago. Got tired of having to listening to all his leftists guest he had on his show.

bgibbs1000 on July 20, 2013 at 10:38 AM

But but but… the pic! Light blue denim/chambray button shirt, green pasture with weathered split-rail fence – how much more Wyominger can you get???

Marcola on July 19, 2013 at 7:03 PM
All she needs now are the two cowboys from Brokeback Mountain. Oh, wait, that comes after she is elected, votes with the establishment, and the buyer’s remorse sets in. :-D

Punchenko on July 19, 2013 at 7:16 PM

We voters are getting wiser with all this faux conservative marketing
ploys aren’t we?

Amjean on July 20, 2013 at 11:25 AM

I like Levin far more than Hannity because he is smart and is up on the issues. Levin has two problems: 1) he refuses to admit when he is wrong, and, like all of us, he sometimes is and 2) he has a blind spot for people he likes. He still blames the other members of the Gang of Eight and gives Rubio a pass even though Rubio was the ringleader and lied to Levin while Levin was interviewing him.

bw222 on July 19, 2013 at 7:11 PM

I don’t see any difference between the two they are interchangeable!

Sean is always calling in Mark’s show and Mark is always on Sean’s show! BBFL (Butt buddies for life). All they do when they interact is nod their heads in agreement on everything like a couple of stupid bobbleheads !

They should just join forces and call it the Shark Levannity show!

cableguy615 on July 20, 2013 at 11:28 PM

“Before I vote, I’d like to know what Sean Hannity thinks.” –No One Ever

Shump on July 20, 2013 at 2:03 AM


Excellent, and my sentiments exactly. I have grown to despise Sean Hannity…if I hear him say, “ground and pound” one more time, I will lose it.

ellifint on July 21, 2013 at 12:29 PM

She’s a carpetbagger. As a senator she should be interested in the views of the people of WY and I don’t see that. I see her as someone who is more interested in making a name for herself, on daddy’s coat tails, at the national level and at the expense of the constituents. She knows that WY is an easy Republican win in the general election, her hardest fight is going to be getting Enzi out of the way.

Russ86 on July 20, 2013 at 12:01 AM

Agreed. I find the carpetbagging aspect distasteful enough that Enzi would get my vote, should we be living in Wyoming by the time the election rolls around, even though I’m a libertarian. It reminded me instantly of Hilary Clinton in NY.

Common Sense on July 22, 2013 at 1:01 PM