Some names are powerful, associated with industry and political dynasties. But if you are a Cheney in this troubled time, it might be more of an albatross. At least Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) might be trying to find a new surname as hopes of winning the 2022 midterms are beginning to look doubtful at best. The most recent polling numbers by Club for Growth show Cheney a distance of 30 percentage points behind her opponent.
It should be mentioned that the opponent, one Harriet Hageman, is backed by the Trump machine. Imagine that.
Maybe Cheney’s rapid decline could have been avoided had she not decided it was politically expedient to attack a popular president of her own party. Or perhaps she’s a Trojan Horse. As is unfortunate in most political downfalls, it’s not the facts or reality – just a feeling that one is now the enemy.
Is Ms. Cheney ruing the day she sided with Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the Jan. 6 Committee? Given Cheney’s stand your ground attitude, it’s doubtful at best. But she made a formidable enemy who is bound and determined to get rid of her.
Perception IS Reality in Politics
Former President Trump isn’t the only Republican to want to clothesline Cheney. The Republican Party is giving credit to Cheney for an “orchestrated unprecedented” GOP sabotage by generating a salacious hit-piece run in one of the legacy media juggernauts. Also, Cheney is getting back door assistance in her primary run-up by one of President Joe Biden’s campaign public relations firms. The same firm has done work for Black Lives Matter and Planned parenthood.
These facts have Wyoming Republicans looking for a new flavor of the day. And in a state that went 70% for Trump in 2020, the word is getting around that Ms. Cheney might be better off running for a seat as a Democrat. However, Cheney voted with Trump policies 92.9% of the time before political grandstanding made her enemy number one. But still, after she was labeled a RINO, the body-checking blows came fast and furious by the Wyoming electorate, and now hopes of a reelection celebration are downright grim.
About That MAGA Rally in Wyoming
Donald Trump held a rally on Cheney’s turf just days after announcing her reelection bid. It was not a coincidence. In front of 9,000 Republican voters, Cheney was called a “back-stabbing-RINO.” Adding in a slam against her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, Trump accused both of being “warmongers.” Rally goers weren’t shy about their feelings either. Cheyenne resident Gilbert Duran spoke on the record with the Washington Examiner, “Liz Cheney is one of those politicians who doesn’t really know what the Republican Party wants or needs, so it’s probably best for her to move on and cut ties with the rest of us. That way, she can pursue whatever she wants to do with the Democratic Party and leave the rest of us alone.” It seems 8,999 folks who attended the event agreed.
Oh, the gloves are off. But is the battle Cheney versus Trump or the candidate Hageman?
Hageman has done a heckuva job sticking to MAGA issues and principles and firing attack after attack on Cheney, who was once a friend and ally. It’s gotten ugly. But being so far ahead in the polls, candidate Hageman feels confident of a primary win come August. She has MAGA voters lined up, doesn’t necessarily see Cheney folks able to sway the needle, and isn’t afraid of the Independents and potential Democrat swing voters:
“I know that they’re going to do it, there’s been a big push already by several people in the media who are pushing Democrats to switch over and vote for Liz Cheney. The reason I’m not worried about it is that she doesn’t poll well with the Democrats or independents either.”
The Cheney name is still a legacy in the Cowboy State. But it doesn’t hold sway anymore in the Swamp. It didn’t save Ms. Cheney from having the House Republican Conference in May 2021 drop her from the third-ranking House leadership position, conference chairwoman. It didn’t help her when the Wyoming Republican Party voted not to recognize her as a Republican. But Ms. Cheney holds firm to her belief that Trump was, and is still, “dangerous and irrational.” So maybe this is the hill on which she plants her political career’s flag.