Cheney drops Senate bid against Enzi in Wyoming

posted at 8:01 am on January 6, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

This comes as a surprise, perhaps to Mike Enzi more than anyone. Liz Cheney, who started an intramural feud in the Wyoming GOP and then another within her family, has decided not to run against Enzi for the Republican nomination to the US Senate after all:

Liz Cheney, whose upstart bid to unseat Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi sparked a round of warfare in the Republican Party and even within her own family, is dropping out of the Senate primary, sources told CNN late Sunday.

Cheney, the eldest daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, began telling associates of her decision over the weekend and could make an official announcement about the race as early as Monday.

Charlie Spiering reports for the Washington Examiner that Cheney has made it official:

“Serious health issues have recently arisen in our family, and under the circumstances, I have decided to discontinue my campaign. My children and their futures were the motivation for our campaign and their health and well-being will always be my overriding priority,” Cheney said in a statement.

Cheney was already facing an uphill fight against Enzi, but her decision might be based on more than just politics. Her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, had a heart transplant in 2012, and she had a very public dispute with her sister, Mary, a lesbian, over the issue of gay marriage.

True, but the former Vice President had already had his heart transplant by the time Liz Cheney announced her bid. The fight with her sister Mary had already been fought in public, too. If those were the hurdles, Cheney had already vaulted past them. This statement seems to suggest that other health issues have arisen that are more directly related to Cheney or her nuclear family.

Perhaps it’s just as well. This campaign always seemed a bit ill-considered. Enzi didn’t have a particularly RINO-ish reputation until Cheney decided to go after him; the American Conservative Union (which hosts CPAC in March) rated Enzi at 92.73% for 2012, 89% in 2011, and 96% in 2010. On top of that, questions immediately arose as to Cheney’s connection to Wyoming, where she had lived sparingly at best for the last several years.  The sudden exit makes the decision to challenge Enzi even more questionable.

The big question now will be whether the intraparty rift in Wyoming will heal, and what this does for the credibility of groups that lined up behind Cheney against Enzi. That may depend on whether they quietly switch to supporting the incumbent in an otherwise safe seat, or attempt to push another primary opponent instead.


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I hope everybody is okay in the Cheney family. I like Liz Cheney but this was not the race for her to jump in.

gophergirl on January 6, 2014 at 8:03 AM

Meh. My arms are shot and I’ve got a new 6″ of snow to shovel. Had to stamp out a trench for dog #2 to use to do her business.

rbj on January 6, 2014 at 8:05 AM

The big question now will be whether the intraparty rift in Wyoming will heal, and what this does for the credibility of groups that lined up behind Cheney against Enzi. That may depend on whether they quietly switch to supporting the incumbent in an otherwise safe seat, or attempt to push another primary opponent instead.

I would guess a big part of that is if the WY GOP establishment decides to go all Boehner and seek revenge against those who dare challenge the status quo.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 8:07 AM

Meh. If there’s a state where we can afford an intra-party rift, it’s Wyoming…

JohnGalt23 on January 6, 2014 at 8:07 AM

I gotta say, I’m a little disappointed that this is the lead story this Monday morning. Al Qaeda just took over parts of Iraq that cost Americans dearly in blood and treasure. Might be a tad more important a topic than the end of a Senate bid that was never going to be successful.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 8:11 AM

Meh. If there’s a state where we can afford an intra-party rift, it’s Wyoming…

JohnGalt23 on January 6, 2014 at 8:07 AM

True, the one here in VA is much more problematic.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 8:12 AM

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 8:11 AM

I feel ya, but be patient. I’m sure there will be something about it today.

Jeff Weimer on January 6, 2014 at 8:13 AM

This always came across as something of a vanity project based solely on Liz’s belief that her last name would afford her legacy status into the Senate, even if the guy she’s trying to bigfoot out has a better voting record than 90 percent of the other Senators.

Given her dad’s ongoing heart problems, you can’t discount her statement for withdrawing. But it’s also possible that the overall tepid response her campaign has gotten is also a factor in Liz’s decision.

jon1979 on January 6, 2014 at 8:18 AM

3 terms is enough. I’d like to term limit him out of there to get new blood, but that’s not the world we live in.

Based on what they’ve done in office, the only incumbant Republican who deserves replacing is Lindsy Graham.

Deafdog on January 6, 2014 at 8:19 AM

Lsm will still pounce

cmsinaz on January 6, 2014 at 8:22 AM

I feel ya, but be patient. I’m sure there will be something about it today.

Jeff Weimer on January 6, 2014 at 8:13 AM

Oh! I’m sure there will be something about AQ taking over Iraq. I was just pointing out that in terms of relevance it is a bigger story than internecine battles within the WY GOP.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 8:24 AM

Based on what they’ve done in office, the only incumbant Republican who deserves replacing is Lindsy Graham.

Deafdog on January 6, 2014 at 8:19 AM

You mean of those running in 2014, right? Because McCain, Collins, and others deserve replacing too. Of the 2014 slate Alexander and Graham are really the only two who should be targeted.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 8:25 AM

This campaign always seemed a bit ill-considered. Enzi didn’t have a particularly RINO-ish reputation

When many more Republicans are centrist than extremists shouldn’t the term RINO refer to those on the fringes?

MJBrutus on January 6, 2014 at 8:30 AM

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 8:25 AM

Alexander isn’t all bad and Collins is the best that we’re going to do in Maine.

MJBrutus on January 6, 2014 at 8:31 AM

I gotta say, I’m a little disappointed that this is the lead story this Monday morning. Al Qaeda just took over parts of Iraq that cost Americans dearly in blood and treasure. Might be a tad more important a topic than the end of a Senate bid that was never going to be successful.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 8:11 AM

I don’t really think it’s newsworthy. Obama goes out of his way to deliberately lose wars – that’s what he does. All of us saw this coming. He’s says it all the time: his job is to end wars. He never says anything about winning them.

To the extent that he acts like a tough guy from time to time with wanting to bomb Syria and the like, it’s just to speciously bolster the phony argument that war just doesn’t work under any circumstances. See America? He tried. Might as well buy more food stamps and high speed rail.

crrr6 on January 6, 2014 at 8:33 AM

I was just pointing out that in terms of relevance it is a bigger story than internecine battles within the WY GOP.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 8:24 AM

Fair criticism. The Kerry-Iraq post will come up next.

Ed Morrissey on January 6, 2014 at 8:34 AM

When many more Republicans are centrist than extremists shouldn’t the term RINO refer to those on the fringes?

MJBrutus on January 6, 2014 at 8:30 AM

Depends on what you mean by fringes.

The establishment GOP would claim the Tea Party-backed candidates are RINOS (which is what you’re suggesting too) but the reality is that there isn’t a bit of difference between “centrist” Republicans and Democrats. They are, indeed the ones at the fringes of the conservative movement and RINO would be an apt term for them all. DIABLO (Democrats in all but leadership offices) would also be apt to describe the surrender caucus.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 8:36 AM

“serious health issues”

Can nobody say “the polls were not in our favor and getting worse”? I’m so sick of BS.

Marcus on January 6, 2014 at 8:36 AM

You mean of those running in 2014, right? Because McCain, Collins, and others deserve replacing too. Of the 2014 slate Alexander and Graham are really the only two who should be targeted.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 8:25 AM

Yes. Cornyn and McConnel, for example, should be term limited. But they really don’t bother me from a policy perspective.

Deafdog on January 6, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Al Qaeda just took over parts of Iraq that cost Americans dearly in blood and treasure.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 8:11 AM

The important question is not what was spent. If you ask me, I say that those costs were not at all spent wisely. We should have left the Pottery Barn, broken pots and all after soon after we off’ed Saddam.

The only important question is whether our interests are best served by remaining or by leaving. I think that leaving was the right answer as it is and was in Afghanistan. We will never civilize the savages. All we should do is contain them when they threaten our interests.

MJBrutus on January 6, 2014 at 8:38 AM

Alexander is a worthless RINO. His big ads on TV have to do with him preserving the right for fishermen to fish near the dams on the rivers of the TVA. He folds like a gypsy tent every time the going gets tough. So far though, the tea party has not identified a strong candidate to go against him so expect 6 more years of below average representation.

hip shot on January 6, 2014 at 8:39 AM

I like Liz Cheney but this was not the race for her to jump in.

gophergirl on January 6, 2014 at 8:03 AM

Agreed. I live in Florida, so I was going to stay my comments on this Seante race, but the only good reason I could see in supporting Liz Cheney over Senator Enzi is that Liz Cheney is younger.

I hope Wyoming can move past this and support Senator Enzi, since he is a bonafide conservative.

BigGator5 on January 6, 2014 at 8:40 AM

I gotta say, I’m a little disappointed that this is the lead story this Monday morning. Al Qaeda just took over parts of Iraq that cost Americans dearly in blood and treasure. Might be a tad more important a topic than the end of a Senate bid that was never going to be successful.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 8:11 AM

About the only thing to her favor, but Enzi shares the strength as well, is that I don’t believe she’d have been willing to pi** away victory like our current C-in-C.

M240H on January 6, 2014 at 8:41 AM

I would suggest that Lynn campaign really hard for Sen. Enzi. While I have don’t think being at odds with the GOP is a big deal, it will help her out in the long run.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 8:48 AM

So, exactly what was the point? Cheney never explained why she was running – she had very little support – her dropping out for ______________ (insert excuse) was inevitable.

So, what will Cheney dabble in next?

Pork-Chop on January 6, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Classy:

Liz Cheney bails on her Senate bid, just like her dad’s first heart bailed on him

Guess which nasty, liberal site that came from.

joekenha on January 6, 2014 at 8:52 AM

MJBrutus on January 6, 2014 at 8:38 AM

I disagree, we won. And like our dear leader we should have gotten something for it. A strategic base in Iraq could have done much to keep Iraq moving forward and deterred Al Qaeda from setting up shop again. Look how nicely Germany and Japan have turned out.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Pork-Chop on January 6, 2014 at 8:52 AM

While I don’t think she had much of a chance, it was nice to see a “known” GOP member that didn’t run from the Tea Party and conservatives. I am so sick of this endless journey for the perfect moderate.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Apparently people only want, fresh, younger Congress members when it’s the other side’s guy who is old. /s

katiejane on January 6, 2014 at 9:09 AM

I gotta say, I’m a little disappointed that this is the lead story this Monday morning. Al Qaeda just took over parts of Iraq that cost Americans dearly in blood and treasure. Might be a tad more important a topic than the end of a Senate bid that was never going to be successful.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 8:11 AM

Fair point.
And not to make too much of a stretch connecting the 2 stories –
but would there have ever been a campaign but for that war?
I hope her family is ok.
I’m glad she’s going away some.

verbaluce on January 6, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Will she write a new book? Going on Hannity in 5, 4, 3, 3, 1.

Kissmygrits on January 6, 2014 at 9:22 AM

I dislike carpet baggers of any kind.

Carnac on January 6, 2014 at 9:26 AM

I was just pointing out that in terms of relevance it is a bigger story than internecine battles within the WY GOP.
Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 8:24 AM

Fair criticism. The Kerry-Iraq post will come up next.
Ed Morrissey on January 6, 2014 at 8:34 AM

Ed, if you had gone the entire day without posting about Iraq that would have been fair criticism. You should not have to feel obligated to post stories in order of someone else’s interpretation of importance.

People are going to criticize regardless, so I would stick to answering criticisms that actually had merit.

turfmann on January 6, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Carnac on January 6, 2014 at 9:26 AM

She’s not a carpetbagger in the true sense of the word. Maybe now she will reestablish herself in the community.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 9:45 AM

She’s not a carpetbagger in the true sense of the word. Maybe now she will reestablish herself in the community.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 9:45 AM

I beg to differ. She lived the majority of her life in VA. Her dad just happens to have a vacay home in Jackson Hole. As a longtime resident of WY I can tell you she had no chance of unseating Enzi because us old cowboys dislike carpetbaggers. As a matter of fact the only Cheney campaign ads I ever saw were right here on HA none in our local papers, stores, or even the public restrooms.

Fred

jrsrigmvr on January 6, 2014 at 9:51 AM

She got out because people like Scott Walker and many others have made a huge point about unnecessary primary in-fighting, and this was the poster child for that.

Enzi is fine, has been for years.

She should have ran in Virginia where she’s the perfect triangulation between military due to the old man, social issues due to her sister and GOP/lobbyist/think-tank money.

budfox on January 6, 2014 at 9:56 AM

jrsrigmvr on January 6, 2014 at 9:51 AM

And Hillary saw shows on Broadway. I am fine with whatever the people of WY decide to do but I see no reason to build up hate for a good conservative because she erred in judgement and has corrected herself.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 9:58 AM

budfox on January 6, 2014 at 9:56 AM

I wish she had run in VA but her chances were equal there. Virginia is FUBAR. It just elected Terry Dumbazz McAuliffe as governor. It is now a member of the dark side.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 10:01 AM

She’s not a carpetbagger in the true sense of the word. Maybe now she will reestablish herself in the community.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 9:45 AM

If you mean WY, the word would be ‘establish’ (not ‘reestablish’).
But it will be interesting to see if she and her family stick around…or head back home to VA.

verbaluce on January 6, 2014 at 10:01 AM

The Republican party wants to re-brand itself? They should start with pushing term limits again and making fighting nepotism in politics part of their national platform. Nothing wrong with the Cheney’s but it’s time to become the party against Royal political families.

Rocks on January 6, 2014 at 10:02 AM

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 9:58 AM

agreed. I actually like Liz and I think she would make a fine legislator as she has a good pedigree. I think she probably saw the writing on the wall and this is the least embarassing way for her to withdraw.Maybe it’s not too late for her to make a run at a VA seat in the house or senate.

Fred

jrsrigmvr on January 6, 2014 at 10:05 AM

…lsm….she’s a quitter!

KOOLAID2 on January 6, 2014 at 10:08 AM

When many more Republicans are centrist than extremists shouldn’t the term RINO refer to those on the fringes?

MJBrutus

I agree.People like you should come out of the closet already and call yourselves democrats.

xblade on January 6, 2014 at 10:11 AM

rsrigmvr on January 6, 2014 at 10:05 AM

I just hope the “serious health issue” is political b.s.. And I’d like to see her get back on an even keel with her sister. Family is so important.

Cindy Munford on January 6, 2014 at 10:12 AM

When many more Republicans are centrist than extremists shouldn’t the term RINO refer to those on the fringes?

MJBrutus on January 6, 2014 at 8:30 AM

.
NOT by your definition of “centrist”, which is just another way of saying “pro-hedonism”, or at least ‘hedonism tolerant.’

listens2glenn on January 6, 2014 at 10:22 AM

In Wyoming, sanity has once again prevailed. This is not surprising to anyone who has spent a significant amount of time living there. The only reason that there is any controversy surrounding this outcome is that, because of the influence of the so-called “progressives” on our culture and our political processes, there are now a large number of people in our society that no longer recognize sanity when they see it. Lessons learned, collie?

My collie says:

The only thing that was ever in doubt was whether (or not) the Cheney family truly understood the nature of the voting constituency in the state of Wyoming. Long intervals living inside the D.C. beltway can skew one’s perspective. Perhaps now, they understand.

CyberCipher on January 6, 2014 at 10:49 AM

She’s a quitter.

She can never run for office again.

portlandon on January 6, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Enzi didn’t have a particularly RINO-ish reputation

The only thing the jerk is known for is trying to tax online businesses. This would crush small companies. He’s no conservative.

jawkneemusic on January 6, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Liz Cheney, who started an intramural feud in the Wyoming GOP and then was brought into another within her family by her sister, has decided

FIFY

DethMetalCookieMonst on January 6, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Liz as Amnesty Shill?

I don’t think Liz ever really was able to shake the impression that she was a stealth amnesty shill, and that was going to spell defeat for her.

The question was asked why she entered the race against one of the most staunchest foes of amnesty right in the middle of Enzi’s fight against Rubio’s bill. Yes, and at the time, she had no comment on the amnesty fight, which was big news at the time, and begged for comment. And back in June a whole bunch of us pointed out the objective facts of her connections to of course her pro-amnesty father, but also to Rubio himself, and Rubio’s pro-amnesty Chief of Staff Cesar Conda. Also, and this was most odd, people googled her to get answers and found nothing, nada, on her amnesty history or position. It was just too uncanny, she had to be holding something back. Well, in June, after a couple of weeks of round the clock battering that she was taking on amnesty, she came only then against the Rubio bill. Problem was it seemed forced, and worse, it seems like she was nitpicking about the specific Rubio bill, not that she didn’t like amnesty as a goal. One thing was clear, she wasn’t going to be a reliable and predictable anti-amnesty vote. She was in fact probably going to go to the senate and join up immediately with the turncoat Rubio in an effort to push “pro big business” amnesty.

The reason why I bring this up again is not to rub something in, but just to point out to other possible stealth amnesty candidates that it’s hard to get through the gates and get into congress now that we have the internet to keep people honest.

anotherJoe on January 6, 2014 at 11:59 AM

A good rating from ACU is suspect. They’re in bed with islamist and pro-illegal immigration troll Grover Norquist and the entire thing is now run by pro-Krispy RINOs.

Too bad, Liz.

Western_Civ on January 6, 2014 at 12:10 PM

MJBrutus on January 6, 2014 at 8:30 AM

Ever consider becoming a Democrat? You’d a much better fit.

bw222 on January 6, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Ever consider becoming a Democrat? You’d a much better fit.

bw222 on January 6, 2014 at 12:55 PM

A democrat kostard?

nah.

Murphy9 on January 6, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Chad Pergram ‏@ChadPergram 5m

Enzi on divides between his backers & Liz Cheney backers: I’m not sure what you;re talking about…fissures & divisions.
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Chad Pergram ‏@ChadPergram 6m

Enzi: The filing deadline isn’t until May. A lot of people could get into the race.
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Chad Pergram ‏@ChadPergram 6m

Enzi on Liz Cheney dropping primary challenge to him: She’s got other things to worry about.
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Chad Pergram ‏@ChadPergram 7m

Enzi describes Liz Cheney call as “brief.” When asked how long it lasted, Enzi replied, “I didn’t time it.”
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Chad Pergram ‏@ChadPergram 7m

Sen Mike Enzi (R-WY) says Liz Cheney called him this morning to announce she’s dropping primary challenge.

canopfor on January 6, 2014 at 7:05 PM

Tweets All / No replies

Chad Pergram ‏@ChadPergram 2m

When asked if he’d like Liz Cheney’s support in his re-election, Sen Enzi replied “yes, of course.”
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Chad Pergram ‏@ChadPergram 3m

Enzi says Liz Cheney didn’t offer her support to him in his re-election campaign and he didn’t ask for it during brief call this morning.

canopfor on January 6, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Liz Cheney drops U.S. Senate campaign citing health issues

Mon Jan 6, 2014 8:03pm EST
***************************

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/07/us-usa-wyoming-cheney-idUSBREA0602O20140107?feedType=RSS&feedName=politicsNews&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&dlvrit=574655

canopfor on January 6, 2014 at 8:46 PM