Liz Cheney has trod a muddy uphill road in her quest of the U.S. Senate seat held by fellow Republican Mike Enzi.
She has tried to defuse the foremost issue, the carpetbagger label, by repeatedly stressing her family roots in Wyoming. She is said to be working the meeting rooms in towns throughout the state looking forsupporters, one by one in the traditional campaign style.
Other problems include the fishing license flap, late property taxpayments and an attack ad by a political action committee that focuses on social issues.
The American Principles Fund super Pac ran a television ad showing a 2009 MSNBC interview with Cheney regarding her stance on gay marriage. The intent was to show she is squishy on gay marriage because she says it is a state issue and she is running for a federal office.
The Liz Cheney campaign cried foul and demanded that television stations refuse to air the ad. Not a smart move. It didn’t work. Cheney campaign spokesperson Celeste Colgan claimed the ad came from the “entrenched Washington, D.C. establishment,” represented by groups like the National Republican Senate Committee, and others working on behalf of Enzi and other incumbents.
The most recent attack came from Ann Coulter, labeled as a conservative firebrand by national political writers.
She lumped Cheney with a group of pols whom she claims are “hucksters” and “shysters” on an ego trip in their manic drive to take over the Republican Party.
Coulter let loose on Cheney during an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News.
“Why should we be having — and I love Liz Cheney — but why should we be having a rancorous primary against a good Republican senator other than for Liz Cheney’s ego?” Coulter said during the interview.
Hannity defended Cheney saying the former vice president’s daughter is more conservative.
“No, she isn’t,” Coulter shot back. “But that’s the point. There are a lot of problems, we are not concentrating on winning, we are allowing shysters to take advantage of the Republican Party.”
Hannity said Cheney is not a shyster. He endorsed her for the U.S. Senate seat in July.
He said he was doing so because Sen. Enzi was one of the “gang of six” members who worked with President Obama on health care reform, although he ended up voting against it. Enzi also brags about working with Democrats, Hannity said, and worked with Dick Durbin on the Internet sales tax bill.
That latter bill is highly unpopular and we will be hearing more about it in future months from the Liz Cheney camp.
At any rate, Hannity said Liz Cheney is like Ted Cruz and the nation needs more Ted Cruzes.
I think everyone has known from the beginning that the Enzi-Cheney match would be a scramble to prove which of the two Republicans is the more conservative. Enzi’s campaign slogan is “Wyoming’s Proven Conservative.”
I also think everyone knew the campaign would pull in millions of dollars and would get rapt attention from the national media. Perhaps Cheney anticipated this would be a very difficult race for her and so she was prepared for the opposition.
Historically, the only remotely close parallel to Cheney’s campaign is one in 1942 by the movie star Tim McCoy, said University of Wyoming history professor Phil Roberts.
McCoy was a native of Michigan who came to Wyoming after college and learned to be an expert horseman and rider. He served in the military during World War I and afterward was head of the Wyoming National Guard. He then became a famous movie star in westerns during the 1920s and 1930s. In 1942 he returned to Wyoming and ran for the U.S. Senate on the Republican ticket.
He caused quite a stir in the party because he hadn’t lived here for about 20 years, Roberts said.
McCoy lost the primary election, immediately enlisted in the Army where he served for the rest of World War II.
Apparently he never returned to Wyoming. He died in Arizona in 1978.