al simpson

Former Wyoming U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson: Lynne Cheney told me to 'shut up'

2013-09-25T07:00:00Z 2013-10-25T19:48:26Z Former Wyoming U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson: Lynne Cheney told me to 'shut up'By LAURA HANCOCK Star-Tribune staff writer Casper Star-Tribune Online

Former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson says Lynne Cheney told him to “shut up” during a reception Saturday night in Cody, about a week after another spat between two of Wyoming’s most prominent political figures.

“She just said, ‘Shut up,’” Simpson said during an interview with the Casper Star-Tribune on Tuesday. “You can just read into it what you want to. I don’t know what she meant. She was very intense.”

Lynne Cheney is the wife of former Vice President Dick Cheney and mother of Liz Cheney, a 2014 Republican primary challenger to incumbent U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi.

Liz Cheney staffer Kara Ahern emailed a statement Tuesday night from Lynne Cheney, saying her exchange with Simpson harkened back to a previous interaction with him at a fundraiser in Laramie.

“The conversation was not about Mike Enzi,” the statement said.

Simpson’s daughter-in-law, Deb Oakley Simpson, posted a comment on her Facebook page the night of the Cody reception about the exchange. “I believe the direct quote was ‘shut your mouth’ regarding his support of Mike Enzi,” she wrote. Deb Simpson later told the Star-Tribune she was describing the comment second-hand.

But Ahern disputed the Facebook account. Ahern said Deb Simpson wasn’t present during the conversation. Ahern released a statement on Monday attributed to Lynne Cheney that said Lynne loved Alan Simpson and his wife.

“We have been friends for over 40 years,” the statement said. “As to the story posted on Facebook, I have to admit I am at a bit of a loss. That simply did not happen.”

Simpson said the conversation was animated and people were looking at them. “It disintegrated for the both of us,” he said.

The reception took place before a fundraiser for the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Alan Simpson and Dick Cheney are trustees at the center. The Saturday gala was billed as a premier event for the Rocky Mountain region and even featured Prince Albert II of Monaco as the guest of honor.

Simpson said the disagreement with Lynne Cheney began a couple weeks ago, at a fundraising event in Laramie for the University of Wyoming Art Museum, which was hosted by FMC Corp. The event also honored one of Liz Cheney’s campaign staffers for her work with charity.

Simpson said the Cheneys overheard his wife say during the event that the couple was backing Enzi. At the same event, Liz Cheney’s daughter presented a football to dignitaries and asked them to sign it. Simpson said he declined.

“I have signed footballs which have then been used for some other purpose, a charity or campaign or something,” he said.

Simpson said he asked Liz Cheney’s daughter if the football was going to be used for campaign purposes and she said she didn’t know.

“And that’s when Lynne and [Liz’s staffer] said, ‘Do you think we would use it for a political fundraiser?’ I said, ‘I don’t know. That has happened several times in my life.’ And that obviously set off something,” Simpson said.

Lynne Cheney, in the statement released Tuesday night, said that Simpson’s behavior in Laramie prompted the discussion on Saturday in Cody.

“It was about Al’s blowup at the FMC event in Laramie, when my 15-year-old granddaughter asked him to sign a football to be used to raise money for cancer patients in Rock Springs,” the statement said. “Al was rude to my granddaughter and I told him he was out of line. The topic was not Mike Enzi.”

On Tuesday, Simpson said that his support for Enzi dates to when the future senator was president of the Wyoming Jaycees. Simpson said he talked to Enzi about running for public office. Enzi was mayor of Gillette, served in the Wyoming House and Senate and then ran for and won Simpson’s seat in the U.S. Senate when Simpson decided to step down.

Simpson said he didn’t know if he would do any stumping for Enzi on the campaign trail. “It’s a deep-, deep-, deep-rooted friendship,” he said. “I didn’t have that friendship with Liz.”

But Simpson said he’s been a good friend to Dick Cheney for 45 years and still considers him a friend. “I’m not out to hurt anyone,” he said. “That’s not who I am. But I am a guy who states his case. And when I was asked about this, I said I am sad and I remain sad.”

Reach state reporter Laura Hancock at 307-266-0581 or at Follow her on Twitter: @laurahancock.

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(47) Comments

  1. harrybr8
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    harrybr8 - September 28, 2013 11:50 pm
    Anyone who degrades Vietnam vets like Simpson,Bachmann,and a few added so alleged Republicans,by abounding that we should not be accepting Agent Orange advantage because it drives up the civic debt needs to be baffled out of the country and never appear back.These are not Republicans,mensagens para celular they are Benedict Arnold clones.
  2. side oiler
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    side oiler - September 28, 2013 12:18 pm
    Yeah,you bet,Libs are no LOUDER than all the PHONY RINO's that infest this state.As for any Lib running for office,Whyoming is a right to work state,so that said,most RINO's are scared of their jobs or just plain brainwashed by the right wing tea billy ding dongs on yap radio and FAUX NOISE.That said,your dog don't hunt.
  3. wyochris
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    wyochris - September 27, 2013 7:05 pm
    ...and once again-the few LIBERALS in this State (the very LOUDMOUTHED ONES) get to spout out against our Republican leadership!! The reason we can't have anything to say about YOU or YOUR KIND, is because there isn't a one of you who has the Cajone's to run for office OR to dedicate yourselves to our fine State! All you want to do is sit around, write your cr@p in the papers, fault the people who WORK for this State and Country and LIE and POINT FINGERS-just like your fearless leader in the White House!
  4. side oiler
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    side oiler - September 27, 2013 7:59 am
    That's one thing old dead eye was good at.
  5. side oiler
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    side oiler - September 27, 2013 7:58 am
    Simpson needs to go away and pull his weeds he moans about and shut up for good.His time has came and went.
  6. Sample307
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    Sample307 - September 26, 2013 6:47 pm
    Having dealt with Al Simpson in the past, I can imagine just how this played out. He was probably angry at everyone around him and yelled at the little. Shame on you Al. And if I was related to the girl, I would have done a lot more that tell you to shut your mouth.
    And why in the world wouldnt you sign s football for cancer victims.

    Al. "don't you know I'm Al Simpson! No one talks to me like that!".
  7. wtf
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    wtf - September 26, 2013 4:43 pm
    Considering it's the always-classy Cheney family, I suppose Alan is lucky he didn't just get shot in the face.
  8. TBA
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    TBA - September 26, 2013 1:07 pm
    Pretty obvious now that the apple never fell far from the tree,in Cheney's case,a stump.The entire GOP is one big cluster foxtrot anymore and they just keep making a bigger derriere out of themselves every day.
  9. jackbenimble333
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    jackbenimble333 - September 26, 2013 1:03 pm
    Liz Cheney cannot even be honest on a fishing license application.

    She claimed she had lived in Wyoming for 10 years so there is not the slightest chance that it was an honest mistake. It was a bald-faced intentional lie.

    If she will lie to save a few bucks (she is quite wealthy), imagine the BS she is going to lay on the people of Wyoming.
  10. jackbenimble333
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    jackbenimble333 - September 26, 2013 12:56 pm
    Liz Cheney would be better described as a neocon then as a conservative. She co-founded "Keep America Safe" with the ultimate neocon Bill Krystol

    For some reason, a couple of weeks ago Liz Cheney saw fit to completely scrub the Keep America Safe" website from the Internet. It has dissapeared like it never even existed; Google does not even seem to have an archive copy. But before she hit the delete button back when she first announced her intention to run, I spent a couple of hours looking around on Keep America Safe. Two things really jumped out for me: 1) It would have better been called "Keep Israel Safe". Liz Cheney apparently never saw a two-bit conflict in the Middle East that she did not want the USA to intervene in. This makes sense to me because her Husband is a K-Street lobbiest for the Defense Industry and then there is her Daddy. She knows where her bread is buttered.

    The 2nd thing that jumped out at me is that Keep America Safe was a big fan of the NSA's domestic spying. Recently, Liz Cheney has cynically been trying to pretend she is a Tea Party conservative in the mold of Ted Cruz. But us Tea Partiers actually believe in the Constitution and last I checked the 4'th Amendment had not yet been repealed. I suspect the reason Liz deleted Keep America Safe is that she did not think that the people of Wyoming would appreciate her support for the Federal Government recording our phone calls, reading our emails and snooping on our financial transactions.
  11. Energy Voter
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    Energy Voter - September 26, 2013 9:31 am
    Incorrect yet again. Brad, ... well, we can talk later. R, I genuinely hope you have made progress. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

    Guys: Everyone understands your strategy -- fill the air with personal insults about Liz Cheney for 11 months so that voters will feel like they have no real choice but Enzi despite his lack of any significant accomplishments. Does it feel good to be in that type of campaign? Does it feel honorable? Where are you going to be when it doesn't work?
  12. Delta_PA
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    Delta_PA - September 25, 2013 8:07 pm
    The GOP are such a classy bunch. LOL
  13. Kool Kat
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    Kool Kat - September 25, 2013 5:41 pm
    The choice is: RINO or not?
  14. rocl
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    rocl - September 25, 2013 5:21 pm
    That "Rino" liable has been around for awhile and it's my observation that it's one reason that only about 29% of voters are registered as Republican nationwide. So go ahead Repubs, use the term liberally and keep putting up candidates like Liz Chaney
  15. Energy Voter
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    Energy Voter - September 25, 2013 3:43 pm
    Incorrect, Brad. Richard Cheney grew up in Casper. He made his money as a CEO of Halliburton. Halliburton invested in and employs people across Wyoming. Duh! For example, see

  16. CheyenneGuy
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    CheyenneGuy - September 25, 2013 3:35 pm
    You are clearly a Cheney staffer. Is this Dave Picard or Amy Womack? Maybe it's Lois Herbst or Bill Scarlett. Why don't you reveal yourself and prove you aren't a Cheney staffer? It would be the first honest move her campaign has done. By the way, When will Liz release her tax returns and donor list from Keep America Safe? How much has she taken from Mel Sembler?
  17. CheyenneGuy
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    CheyenneGuy - September 25, 2013 3:29 pm
    No one can tell me what jobs Richard and Liz have ever produced in Wyoming. They have never produced one single job in the state. When will Liz release her tax returns and the donor list from Keep America Safe?
  18. CheyenneGuy
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    CheyenneGuy - September 25, 2013 3:27 pm
    Dick Cheney was a broke Nebraska Cornhusker before he went into politics and now he is a millionaire living in Jackson. I stand by my assertion that Energy Voter and Kool Kat are Cheney staffers.
  19. side oiler
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    side oiler - September 25, 2013 3:25 pm
    Do you believe "everything" you hear? Believe nothing of what you hear and half of what you see and you will better off.
  20. side oiler
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    side oiler - September 25, 2013 3:23 pm
    I checked out that web site...good stuff there.
  21. Energy Voter
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    Energy Voter - September 25, 2013 2:58 pm
    Unlike Enzi, Liz will get zero money from Washington lobbyists or SuperPacs. If you go to one of her events, you would know she has more individual donations from Wyoming citizens in a few weeks than Enzi has had in a decade. And of course we will all be waiting to see all of the Washington lobbyists who appear on the donation list for Mike -- including from his Sept 17 event in DC.

  22. Energy Voter
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    Energy Voter - September 25, 2013 2:53 pm
    Cheyenne guy -- so when you say "feed at the government trough," do you include people who once had businesses dependent on stimulus and energy department grants before they failed? just wondering.

    Also, I would think that each of the Cheney family members made much more $ in the private sector than in any government job.

  23. Grass wolf
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    Grass wolf - September 25, 2013 1:56 pm
    The entire Cheney clan is caustic and irrelevant.
  24. side oiler
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    side oiler - September 25, 2013 1:29 pm
    Dick Cheney is a very distant cousin of both Harry S. Truman and Barack Obama; Perhaps this is one reason why Republicans hate Obama so much,their Darth is related to someone they do not like.Makes one wonder who Mitch McConnell is related to.
  25. Energy Voter
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    Energy Voter - September 25, 2013 1:26 pm
    Did you even read the story, Deb? Your fb post was about Enzi, and this had nothing to do with Enzi. Al Simpson was rude to a 15 year old girl, and Mrs. Cheney was defending the girl. And why on earth would anyone refuse to sign a football for cancer victims? Come on.

    Does Superman do that? And really, do you think the 5'1" Lynne Cheney is really going to intimidate the poor defenseless 6'6" Al Simpson. Come on.

  26. Energy Voter
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    Energy Voter - September 25, 2013 1:19 pm
    I'm not a "cheney staffer." I don't know about Kool Kat, but you can click and read that person's posts and see.

    I do support both Richard and Liz Cheney however, and I have good reasons for doing so. She is sharp, and has exactly the right Executive Branch experience to know how to shut down the Government bureaucracy. Most Senators are just former state legislators and don't have the first idea how to reign in federal bureaucrats. Thus, the bureaucracy runs circles around them, and they get nothing done.

    Frankly, a Senator from Wyoming ought to have one primary goal: shutting down the ridiculous stuff EPA and BLM are doing to our farmers, ranchers, mining and energy sectors. Senator Enzi has long tried to do this, but hasn't succeeded. He is sympathetic to our needs, but ineffective. We need someone new and aggressive. Senators have a lot of power to change things if they know what they are doing. Ted Cruz just showed that last night. (Indeed, Ted Cruz has accomplished more for Texas in the last 9 months than Senator Enzi has accomplished for Wyoming in three full terms.)

    And by the way, I'm not sure what you mean by "Constitutionalist" but Article II gives the President the "Commander in Chief" authority. And Dick Cheney fully divested himself from Halliburton before he took office. Do you know who got the money from the millions in Halliburton options he gave up when he became VP???? I bet you don't, so I'll tell you. Mr. Cheney donated those options to the University of Wyoming, and they have now provided many millions in funding for the UW International Center, and paid for dozens of WY student scholarships etc. Yeah, Richard Cheney is a terrible guy alright.
  27. Salty Dawg
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    Salty Dawg - September 25, 2013 1:05 pm
    Cheney's credibility went out long ago when he left Nebraska,I see nothing different in his offspring.
  28. Salty Dawg
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    Salty Dawg - September 25, 2013 1:04 pm

    "I think I would start with Dick Cheney." Boy are you delusional.
  29. Sassy
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    Sassy - September 25, 2013 12:16 pm
    Good grief- If the shoe fits- wear it... It is not the first time Big Al has been told to shut up.. not will it be the last.......
  30. wyo-first Amendment victim-gun rights
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    wyo-first Amendment victim-gun rights - September 25, 2013 11:53 am
    Kool Kat may be a Cheney staffer. There is too much detail and "have you noticed?" Liz Cheney is a fascist corporate candidate, propped up by semantic dribble and oil, gas and defense money from Steamboat and Virginia. The experiment for the fascists is to see if they can knock off a legitimate local candidate (like the recent Colorado legislature victims of the NRA) and impose a fascist-financed Congress on go along with a fascist White House and packed Supreme Court.
    My web site: Cheney-Nothanks (com
  31. wyo-first Amendment victim-gun rights
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    wyo-first Amendment victim-gun rights - September 25, 2013 11:48 am
    OK, apparently, "fascist" is not "profanity" to the Trib, so here goes:
    The Cheneys are fascist, Wyoming is fascist, why? Because both are living in the 19th Century coal economy, "us/them" dynamic of colonialism, political violence and the Cold War that came from it. if you are on Facebook, my page for Liz Cheney is
    "Liz Cheney for Wyoming?"
    And online, there is this page:
    Cheney-NoThanks (com
    Regardless of what (we the people of Wyoming) think of the Simpsons or the Cheneys, there is no question that they're far beyond us in experience, money and access to power. Mike Enzi has found a wonderful balance in that during his three terms (seniority) in the Senate. Liz Cheney ONLY wants to be "White House material" for 2016 and 2020. Nuts with Wamsutter.
  32. Cody Coyote
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    Cody Coyote - September 25, 2013 11:22 am
    As the Cheney spokespeople walk this back, we realize they were lying . As they walk back right off the rhetorical cliff...

    You do not step on Superman's cape, and you do not ever tell Al Simpson to Shut Up.

    Cheney Camp credibility this week is pretty much zero. Gonna be a long 11 months for Lizzie.
  33. CheyenneGuy
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    CheyenneGuy - September 25, 2013 11:19 am
    All of Liz's money will come from out of state and Super Pacs. People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Liz has brought an ugly tenor to the politics of Wyoming.
  34. CheyenneGuy
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    CheyenneGuy - September 25, 2013 11:17 am
    Richard (deficits don't matter) Cheney has stomped all over the US Constitution. This guy loves government and his entire family feeds at the government trough. When is Liz going to release her tax returns and donor list from Keep America Safe?
  35. CheyenneGuy
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    CheyenneGuy - September 25, 2013 11:15 am
    Enzi won a crowded primary in 1996. No one hand picked him for anything.
  36. CheyenneGuy
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    CheyenneGuy - September 25, 2013 11:04 am
    Energy Voter and Kool Kat are Cheney staffers. They are on here every chance they get spreading disinformation about Senator Enzi and other Republicans. Dick Cheney was not a Constitutionalist as Sec Def or VP. His wars in Iraq rang up trillions in debt for the US taxpayers and he made millions at the helm of Halliburton via government contract. I'm not sure he or Liz have ever had jobs that didn't come from government largesse. What have they ever produced in Wyoming?
  37. wyo-first Amendment victim-gun rights
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    wyo-first Amendment victim-gun rights - September 25, 2013 10:49 am
    Why is "fascist" a profanity word on Trib? Too close to the bone?
  38. Energy Voter
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    Energy Voter - September 25, 2013 10:17 am
    Sure there are. If we agree that "conservatives" strictly construe the Constitution and believe that most post depression federal agencies and programs step dangerously far beyond Article I, Section 8, I can name several for you.

    I think I would start with Dick Cheney.
  39. Kendall C
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    Kendall C - September 25, 2013 9:57 am
    Al, when Craig Thomas passed away, my sister, who now lives in Colorado, and is described at family gatherings as being "just to the left of Karl Marx," said "can they get Al Simpson to go back?" That was not too long before you made a statement saying you doubted you could be elected in Wyoming at that time because you weren't Conservative enough. It's too bad that someone who worked across the aisle, as you did, has little chance of being elected in Wyoming, or several of the other "Red" states. I've heard it said that you and Ted Kennedy were friends, even though you disagreed politically. With the present climate in Congress, particularly the House of Representatives, I doubt that friendships of that nature occur. very often. A question to you and to anyone who has an idea on how to achieve it: How can we encourage public civil discourse between members of the major parties?
    Kendall Corbett
  40. Salty Dawg
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    Salty Dawg - September 25, 2013 9:44 am
    I was not aware there were any real conservatives left,please enlighten us if there are any to be found.
  41. Energy Voter
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    Energy Voter - September 25, 2013 9:36 am
    I can understand folks calling Simpson a RINO -- especially in light of his pro choice stance and many efforts to work and compromise with Democrats. But I am always mystified when people refer to any Cheney as a RINO. I don't know of anyone more conservative, really.

    I am also mystified why Senator Simpson would think it was a good idea to talk to the press about the subject matter of this article. It doesn't seem press worthy, and isn't particularly flattering either. And I wouldn't think Simpson's apparent support for Enzi is a positive for Enzi. Indeed, Simpson seems to imply that he handpicked Enzi for his former seat.

  42. 51 Flathead
    Report Abuse
    51 Flathead - September 25, 2013 9:36 am
    Anyone who degrades Vietnam vets like Simpson,Bachmann,and a few other so called Republicans,by spouting that we should not be getting Agent Orange compensation because it drives up the national debt needs to be licked out of the country and never come back.These are not Republicans,they are Benedict Arnold clones.
  43. CareyMitchell
    Report Abuse
    CareyMitchell - September 25, 2013 9:21 am
    Lynne Cheney on Monday "As to the story posted on Facebook, I have to admit I am at a bit of a loss. That simply didn't happen." Lynne Cheney on Tuesday "Al was rude to my grand daughter, and I told him he was out of line." Liar, liar. Do not listen to a word these DC Elites say in their quest to stay relevant in DC, using Wyoming as a stepping stone on a mission for raw power.
  44. Flint
    Report Abuse
    Flint - September 25, 2013 9:00 am
    I find it interesting when Republicans call Al Simpson a "RINO." It seems Wyoming's GOP has moved so far astray that they can't even recognize a Republican any more.
  45. rigrat
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    rigrat - September 25, 2013 8:27 am
    I just love it when RINO's get at each other like a pack of alley cats.
  46. concretesequential
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    concretesequential - September 25, 2013 8:01 am
    Republican politics in WY just keep getting funnier!
  47. Kool Kat
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    Kool Kat - September 25, 2013 7:41 am
    Mr Simpson, even though I don't really care for Lynne, she wasn't too far off by telling you to shut up or stifle. Even though you used to be a popular Senator, your rather verbose comments from time to time seem completely unnecessary.
    If you carried that much weight in the political spectrum? Obama would have taken your advice in the Simspon/Bowls committee on balancing the budget. Instead the public chose Obama ways over your associated claims by reelecting him.
    You see, Obama is so verbose that, he made Joe Biden his VP as the public prefers rhetoric over fact. And sometimes, when a person can't be silent - a person doesn't seem to grasp fact of the matter.
    In due time, Wyomingites will know whether to keep Enzi on Office or welcome Liz, as it will be their turn to speak before the primaries. If you noticed? Enzi nor Liz have made any political comments or major political appearances, except for Enzi's low profile small town meetings as US Senator.
    Enzi knows he's in trouble for his ill advised internet tax legislation proposal, and remains low keyed since then on his reelection bid. Yes I know, Enzi hasn't announced a reelection bid but, politically he's more active now than before.
    While quietly collecting campaign contributions he doesn't have to report from Super PACS. The same ploy Obama did before announcing his candidacy for President from a lowly US Senator. Obama announced and all of a sudden, $500 million in his war chest was announced.
    Sound familiar?
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