Carpetbagger Liz Cheney Betrays Family Friend By Running For His Senate Seat

It doesn’t pay to make friends with the Cheney family. Just ask Texas attorney Harry Whittington, the man who was shot in the face by Dick Cheney in a 2006 hunting accident. Whittington sustained long-term injuries, including having to carry approximately 30 pieces of lead in his body. Dick has never apologized to Whittington, in public or in person. In spite of media reports that described the two men as old friends, the lawyer denies that characterization, describing his relationship with Cheney as one of merely ‘acquaintances’. Now it’s Liz Cheney’s turn to inflict harm on a man involved with the family – a man who truly is an old family friend.

The person in question, Senator Michael B. Enzi of Wyoming, has valued the relationship with Dick for over 30 years. That didn’t stop Liz from declaring on Tuesday that she’s running for incumbent Enzi’s seat in Congress, nor did it stop her father from fully endorsing the run.

In Washington on Tuesday, Senator Enzi told reporters that neither Liz nor Dick informed him of her intention, adding plaintively “I thought we were friends”.

That was Enzi’s first mistake. The third-term Senator’s second mistake was being willing to compromise in the Senate. Even though his reputation as a conservative is sterling, he’s also known as someone who will strike a deal with Democrats. That’s a BIG mistake in Cheney’s eyes. Tea Party sympathizer Liz immediately went for the jugular over it. In a video announcing her candidacy, Liz said:

I am running because I believe it is necessary for a new generation of leaders to step up to the plate…we can no longer afford simply to get along to go along…I will never compromise when our freedom is at stake.

Enzi pointedly made public his own plans for a fourth Senate run, just a few minutes ahead of the release of Liz’s video, saying:

I intend to run for re-election for Wyoming’s Senate seat in 2014. When I announce formally, I will let everyone know that date in the future. In the meantime, I will do the job I was already elected to do. My trips to Wyoming almost weekly, the public listening sessions, the groups I meet with and speak to, working behind the scenes ? this is what I have been doing since I was elected, and this is what needs to be done.

The decision by Liz Cheney to go after Enzi’s seat exposes the rifts already present in the Republican Party and it poses a dilemma for the party at both the state and national levels. The other two members of Wyoming’s Congressional delegation immediately rallied around Enzi. He was also quickly endorsed by the National Republican Senatorial Committee which works to elect Republicans. The committee’s chairman, Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas announced his support for Enzi.

After Liz’s announcement, Ari Fleisher, White House press secretary under George W. Bush, summed up the dilemma:

It’s going to have senator against senator. It’s going have the Senate committee that’s in charge of re-electing senators against the Cheney family. It’s an uncomfortable split within the Republican Party that could’ve and should’ve been avoided.

The situation for Wyoming is also complicated. Added to the fact that the state’s voters are loyal to their incumbents is the potential view of Liz Cheney as a carpetbagger. Although the Cheney family’s roots in Wyoming go back 100 years, Liz was born and raised elsewhere. Last year, however, she bought a house in Jackson Hole for almost $2 million and has been making public appearances around the state ever since–broadcasting her next move well before she made an actual announcement.

State lawmaker Chris Rothfuss, the Democratic candidate who last lost to Enzi, had this to say about Liz’s challenge:

I would say that the reason that Liz Cheney is running out of Wyoming rather than what in effect would be her home state of Virginia is because we’re basically seen as a much cheaper option in trying to obtain a Senate seat.

Not that money is going to be much of a problem for Liz. The amount available to her through family connections will be a huge factor in the race. Daddy Dick is part of a vast national network of conservatives. Most of the money is likely to come from outside Wyoming, perhaps reinforcing the carpetbagger perception. Enzi, however, is ill-prepared to go up against that kind of financing, having less than $500,000 in his political accounts.

According to Peter Grier of the Christian Science Monitor, Senator Enzi’s best defense is probably to go on the offense and describe Liz as ‘too extreme’ for Wyoming. One pertinent? focus needs to be on the neocon foreign policies that she got from her dad –including a willingness to go to war with Iran, and the view that President Obama is trying to ‘disarm’ America.

Of course, the bottom line lies with Wyoming voters. How will they ultimately view the situation? It’ll be a fun race to watch as they try to figure it out. Witnessing the GOP tear itself in two is certainly entertaining, but it’s hard to see how the party could be surprised by the Cheney development. After all, what can you expect from the family of Dick?

Edited and published by WP.

I'm a lifelong liberal, a social/political activist, a writer and blogger. I've been through many incarnations, including 20 years as a psychotherapist and 10 years as an astrologer. However, writing and social justice have always been my passions. That's the way I was raised: much thanks, Dad! I look forward to many more transformations as life goes on. For more, please join me on Facebook. or Twitter @thepolitcali_1