Rachel Maddow took her viewers on a little walk down memory lane and Dick Cheney's carpetbagging into Wyoming just in time for his qualification to run for vice president with George W. Bush. Now we've got his daughter pulling a similar maneuver with her primary challenge to Sen. Mike Enzi.
Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, announced Tuesday she will challenge Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) in 2014, setting up a high-profile GOP primary battle.
“I am running for the United States Senate because I believe deeply in the values that have made our state and our nation great. I’m running because I believe it is necessary for a new generation of leaders to step up to the plate," Cheney said.
"I’m running because I know as a mother and a patriot we can no longer afford simply to go along to get along. We can’t continue business as usual in Washington. I’m running because I know we’re taxed more than enough already.” [...]
Enzi released his own statement Tuesday afternoon, saying he plans to run for reelection to a fourth term. The senator has long suggested he'd run again, and the statement appeared to be a shot across the bow of his new primary foe.
Speaking to reporters after Cheney's announcement, Enzi sounded wounded about the decision. The senator said considered Cheney a friend and did not expect to face her at the ballot box.
"She said that if I ran she wasn't going to run, but obviously that isn't correct," Enzi said.
"I thought we were friends," he said when asked about their relationship.
He said he wouldn't reconsider his plans to run for reelection, but admitted that "money raising's always been a problem for me" when asked about her fundraising prowess.
Just what we need... another hateful wingnut in the Senate. Here's more from Slate on what she's doing to party politics in Wyoming: Dick Cheney's Daughter Launches Senate Bid—and Maybe a GOP Civil War, Too:
The move isn't a complete surprise—rumors of it had been swirling inside the Cowboy State and around the Beltway for weeks—but it's still rather major news because 69-year-old Sen. Mike Enzi has made it clear that he has no desire to step aside, even for the daughter of his former fly-fishing buddy. Here's how the New York Times' Jonathan Martin summed things up last week in advance of today's announcement:
Ms. Cheney’s move threatens to start a civil war within the state’s Republican establishment, despite the reverence many hold for her family. Mr. Enzi, 69, says he is not ready to retire, and many Republicans say he has done nothing to deserve being turned out. ... The developments underscore the complicated relationship between the Beltway-centered Cheney family and the sparsely populated state that provided its political base.
Martin's talk of a GOP civil war may sound like hyperbole, but Wyoming Republicans are painting a similar picture. Asked about Cheney's likely bid to unseat Enzi, former GOP Sen. Alan K. Simpson of Wyoming told Martin that a Cheney-Enzi face-off would bring about "the destruction of the Republican Party" in Wyoming. "It’s a disaster — a divisive, ugly situation — and all it does is open the door for the Democrats for 20 years," Simpson said.