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October 01, 2013 7:46 am

EDITORIAL: Cheney campaign keeps finding new ways to harm itself

Written by Tom Lawrence

The Enzi-Cheney race took another odd turn recently, which is in keeping with this increasingly strange campaign.

 

 

Bizarre twists and turns seem to be the pattern of the 2014 Republican primary election. U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi wants a fourth term, and Liz Cheney wants to be the GOP candidate instead.

They are in the midst of a stunningly lengthy 13-month competition for the Republican Party’s Senate nomination and, with the sorry state of the Wyoming Democratic Party, an almost assured win in November 2014.

Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, has had a rough start to her first run for elective office. And that’s putting it politely.

Just look at the latest example. On Sept. 21, Cheney’s mother, Lynne Cheney, engaged in a verbal scuffle with former Sen. Alan Simpson, one of the most popular figures in Wyoming.

Simpson, a Republican whose father served as governor and as a senator, retired from politics in 1997 after three terms in the Senate. He expresses an abiding friendship for both Dick Cheney and Enzi, whom he helped recruit for elective politics back in the 1970s.

Simpson angered Liz and Lynne Cheney when he decided to remove his signature from a football at a political gathering last month. He said he didn’t want to see it used as a fundraising tool, while Lynne Cheney said she felt he insulted her granddaughter during the minor fracas.

On Sept. 21, she came up to him at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Patrons Ball and told him what she thought of that incident. Simpson said Lynne Cheney approached him “eyes-flashing and pretty intense,” and after a brief exchange, told him to shut up three times.

That didn’t go over too well with Simpson. He now publicly supports Enzi in the race, even though he said he still has fond feelings for the Cheney family, despite the ballroom blitz.

If the Cheneys wanted to get Simpson to join their cause, or to “shut up” and stop supporting Enzi, they picked a poor place to do it. Cody is Simpson’s beloved hometown, and the Patrons Ball is a major event there.

It seems an odd time and place to engage in a war of words with a legendary figure in state political history.

But it’s in keeping with a stumbling campaign that was launched with an offhand remark that Enzi, who turns 70 in early 2014, was “confused” about Liz Cheney’s political aspirations. That registered as an uncalled-for low blow to many voters, and it also seemed to have awakened Enzi’s fighting spirit.

Other questionable acts in the Cheney campaign include assailing a newspaper editor by name, and speculating that the death of newspapers may not be a bad thing. Liz Cheney also issued a press release raising the issue of same-sex marriage, which drew a sharp response from her sister Mary, who has a lesbian partner.

The result was several days of headlines and news reports with the words “Cheney” and “gay marriage.” Is that useful during a Republican campaign in this deeply conservative state?

Interestingly enough, both Dick and Lynne Cheney have expressed support for gay marriage, but Liz Cheney, who is seeking the support of the anti-same-sex marriage Tea Party movement and other Republican voters, has taken a different stance. Does she really feel that way? Or is she blatantly playing politics on the issue?

With her family history on the matter, it’s a fair question. Did she in fact raise the issue early on to “inoculate” herself on it?

We will mention in passing the self-inflicted wound of Liz Cheney’s fishing license fumble, her recent move to the state, and her decision both to maintain a home in Virginia and to buy a mini-mansion in Jackson Hole, hardly the stomping ground of most conservative Republicans.

In the end, all these incidents, taken together, raise the questions of competence and character. Is Liz Cheney prepared to run for and serve in the U.S. Senate, when her first few months as a candidate show a remarkable lack of common sense and political acumen?

8 comments

  • Comment Link October 01, 2013 11:46 am posted by clipstein

    How do you even give that trio a mention in the paper??// You are taking away from the issues that they should be fighting over..Until the papers and people wake up we will be getting a view of this country going down the tubes...we need good caring candidates not this ?????

  • Comment Link October 01, 2013 11:47 am posted by Mary Grant

    Whatever happens in this race, it is a clear choice between a hardworking, reasonable incumbent and a dishonest, far-right neocon carpetbagger who identifies with the anarchists who just shut down our government. And if you think her stance on gay marriage wasn't planned to garner as many headlines as possible, including a pseudo fight with her sister, then you don't know politics. Unfortunately, there is no daylight between Liz and her father, and for that reason, she will never forge her own identity or make her own mark because she is his chief apologist and must remain so for the rest of his life. By the way, is she using the Wyoming pronunciation of her name (Cheney) or the D.C. pronunciation (Chayney)? Either way, She's a phoney.

  • Comment Link October 01, 2013 2:59 pm posted by John Schamber

    Well said Mary Grant you hit it spot on. I'm from a different Party but am going to go republican just to vote for Senator Mike Enzi who has faithfully supported Wyoming interest's. His knowledge and hard work speak for them self.. Al Simpson and the late Craig Thomas represented our Great State the best I can remember in Wyoming's history. Liz Cheney should Summer in Jackson and Winter in Virginia

  • Comment Link October 01, 2013 3:49 pm posted by Brandt

    Isn’t old crow Cheney one of the most vile and despicable excuses for a human being ever to set foot in the White House? He’s a vulture and a war-profiteer whose effigy should be lit afire in the streets every day he still walks around a free man. See some art and words defining his role in architecting a Society of Fear at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2010/04/inside-job.html

  • Comment Link October 01, 2013 5:07 pm posted by Disgusted taxpayer

    The best candidate is none of the above on the next ballot,people.you people need to look in the mirror for the answer as to why Congress is acting like it is... who keeps putting the same ding dongs back in office? You people who cater tea baggers and RINO's deserve all you have coming, since the tea baggers are the main problem in DC.As for Cheney,the apple didn't fall far from the tree.

  • Comment Link October 01, 2013 7:18 pm posted by Crae

    Don't forget the late tax payment, blamed by Ms Cheney Perry on the paperwork mailed to the candidate's home in...Virginia.

  • Comment Link October 02, 2013 3:45 am posted by Bernie Latham

    This is an important matter. We obviously cannot trust politicians and their campaigns to describe the politician's character accurately. Their behavior tells us that story.

    The last thing America needs is another politician who, so steeped in the elite culture of wealth and power, just comes to believe that he or she is entitled to play by some privileged set of rules.

    Why on earth would anyone accept the claim that Liz Cheney's move to Wyoming a year ago was to "return home" rather than to cynically gain access to political power?

  • Comment Link October 03, 2013 6:57 am posted by Salty Dawg

    Bernie,why do you think pops Cheney ran here like a rabbit to be Bush's running partner in crime?

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