Categorized | Current Affairs

Will Liz Cheney primary Mike Enzi?

I hope so.

Ms. Cheney, 46, is showing up everywhere in the state, from chicken dinners to cattle growers’ meetings, sometimes with her parents in tow. She has made it clear that she wants to run for the Senate seat now held by Michael B. Enzi, a soft-spoken Republican and onetime fly-fishing partner of her father.

But Ms. Cheney’s move threatens to start a civil war within the state’s Republican establishment, despite the reverence many hold for her family.

Mr. Enzi, 69, says he is not ready to retire, and many Republicans say he has done nothing to deserve being turned out.

It would bring about “the destruction of the Republican Party of Wyoming if she decides to run and he runs, too,” Alan K. Simpson, a former Republican senator from the state, said in an interview last week. “It’s a disaster — a divisive, ugly situation — and all it does is open the door for the Democrats for 20 years.”


In an interview last week after a town hall-style meeting at the county fairgrounds here, a few feet from a plaque marking the site of Mr. Cheney’s first political speech, Mr. Enzi revealed that Ms. Cheney told him this year that she was thinking about challenging him in 2014.

“She called me and said that she’s looking at it,” he said.


Unlike former Republican colleagues who were felled in recent elections because they lost touch with home or cast votes that angered Republicans, Mr. Enzi has a reliably conservative record and has not offered critics much fodder. And at his town meetings, even as constituents flashed anger at Washington and assorted powers “back East,” none showed any ill will toward him.

I’ll make a couple points.  First, I’d take anything Alan Simpson says with a large grain of salt, and his warning that a Cheney challenge to Enzi would result in the destruction of the Wyoming Republican Party and open the door to a Democrat Senator from the state is ludicrous. Whoever wins the GOP primary — Cheney or Enzi — would be the overwhelming favorite to win the general election. Simpson, who’s most famous for the disastrous Simpson-Mazzoli amnesty bill in 1986, has always been an establishment guy and has always been more interested in getting on the Sunday talk shows than advancing conservatism..

Second, I think Enzi overestimates his conservative support. As you’ll recall, he teamed up with Dick Durbin to co-sponsor a Senate bill which would impose a massive new internet sales tax just four months ago.  Such a cumbersome bureaucratic mess like that would be harmful even in a good economy but, as Stacy noted at the time, it would be particularly disastrous in the Obama economy.  There’s no way I can square a vote for what amounts to a national sales tax increase with a "reliably conservative record". Conservatives are supposed to oppose government expansion, not co-sponsor bills with liberals to facilitate it. A competitive primary would force Enzi to defend his record and explain himself. Isn’t that a good thing? As Governor Palin recently said:

Competition makes everyone work harder, be better, and be held accountable. This applies to politics, too. No one is ‘entitled’ to anything.

Governor Palin wasn’t specifically referring to Enzi, but her words are no less applicable in Wyoming than in Florida or New Hampshire.


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  • CBDenver

    It is important to read Alan Simpson’s words carefully: "It would bring about “the destruction of the Republican Party of Wyoming if she decides to run and he runs, too. The "and he [Enzi] runs, too" is an important caveat. The solution to avoid the destruction of the Republican Party in Wyoming is for Enzi to step aside in favor of the younger Cheney. It is high time for some new blood with fresh ideas in the Senate (and the rest of Washington, for that matter)

    • TheresaAK

      I like Liz Cheney, but your last sentence jumped at me…"It is high time for some "new blood" with "fresh ideas" in the Senate (and the rest of Washington, for that matter).

      I know Liz stood up to her father when he insulted Sarah, and I respect her for that…my concern is will this be another dynasty, with another Cheney?

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m open to her candidacy, (I have no say so in WY anyway) but I am sorely disappointed with Rand Paul…for example.

      Along with "fresh ideas" I want True Conservatism……

      If the Republican Party is afraid of Ms. Cheney…well, that is always a plus for Conservatives….

      • bejocy

        I agree that ‘fresh blood’ is not always best…because some folks are simply, liars.
        I don’t think ‘dynasty’ with the Cheneys though. The whole Kennedy and Bush families jump in like it’s a pool party.

      • socon

        Not a big fan of Liz Cheney. She supports GWB’s disastrous "nation building."

    • momofsons

      Did not destroy the republican party here in Texas. Made em sit up and take notice though. I am hoping someone primaries John Cornyn.

      • socon

        Competition is good for the party! Keeps them on their toes.

  • Sentinel34

    Success by Alan Simpson’s standards is based on a set of performance metrics not grounded in conservative principles. Enabling the GOPe to reign enables the Democrats to reign by proxy. So it is his ilk that would enable another 20 years of liberal progressive hold on governing.

  • friskyness

    Enzi isn’t ready to retire……….they are never ready to retire…they never know when to call it quits……….if he is as good as he says he says,, then he has nothing to worry about a challenge from Cheney…..but if he is worried, then there is something wrong with him……………

    • Timothy Jacques

      They won’t "retire" until you pry their dead, cold hands from the lectern.

      That’s gonna leave scratch marks on the wood stain finish :)

  • Jthom26837

    Will Liz Cheney Primary Mike Enzi? God I sure hope so. The rise of The Mama Grizzlies shall continue.

    • Jose R. Gonzalez

      I like Liz Cheney. However, I’m not too sure she’d be an ally of Governor Palin’s considering Papa Cheney is clearly a part of the Rovian establishment-wing of the Republican Party.

      • Jthom26837

        Good Point.

  • PAWatcher

    Sorry, IMHO the Cheney name in politics should go out with the GOPe departure from DC. Politics should not be the family business to be passed on to the next one up.

  • momofsons

    I am really tired of the old argument… can’t be divisive that would put democrats in power….you can’t be divisive you’ll turn off the independents…….you can’t be divisive….. there are others, but in a hurry.

  • nkthgreek

    Might be the Enzi of Liz.

  • arcman46

    When are these idiots in the Senate going to realize that we DON’T want them working with Chuck Schumer, and Dick Durban, and the other statists on the Democrat side of the aisle?

  • Tom Ferriday

    Can Liz Cheney be trusted? I don’t know much about Enzi except that he supported Internet sales taxes. That alone means he must go. But I want to know more about Liz Cheney.

    Other than having the Cheney surname and being a recurring guest on FNC, what has she done to earn our support? Is she a constitutional conservative? Furthermore, I don’t recall the Cheneys supporting Sarah or the Tea Party. It sounds like the Cheneys are as much a part of the GOPe as the Bushes.

    On a side note, I do know that Alan Simpson is the Barney Fife of American politics, so anything that moron suggests should be ignored.

    • mark1955

      Agree! The Cheney’s are NWO Rockefeller lefties and are not to be trusted. Dick Cheney and liz ran their "Good cop/Bad cop" routine up the flag pole in attacking Governor Palin last year and when it didn’t work, Liz came in and "pretended" to e supportive of Sarah against her Dad. It was an act. Liz is a member of the Carlysle group and sister Mary is Karl Roves top aide. Stay clear of any of the Cheney’s!

  • OldPat

    Guess what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander. Lizzie’s gonna Hillary Wyoming. My guess is she’s spent 100 days in Wyoming in the last 10 years. What’s yours? Think that subject might be a topic of discussion? LOL.

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