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I am a Wyoming resident. I have been for over 40 years. Lived almost my whole life here. When the news came out that Liz Cheney was thinking about running for the U.S. Senate in Wyoming, my first thought was, “Why Wyoming? She’s from Virginia. Grew up there. Went to college in Colorado. Law School in Chicago. Worked her entire adult life in Washington, D.C. Started and is raising her family in McClean.”
It didn’t make much sense to me because Liz Cheney had decided to not join the “Wyoming community” for the entirety of her adult life. However, I was going to give her a chance to make her case to me, personally, and to the people of Wyoming. Truth be told, Liz Cheney and I are probably identical in our conservative philosophy. There may be some differences on social issues, I don’t yet know.
After all, many of us assumed that Sen. Mike Enzi was going to retire at the end of his current term and challenging Mike, as we Wyomingites call him (we call all of our elected officials by their first names), is out of the question. She could never beat him and if she attempted, surely her dad would breathe some reality into that fantasy.
You see, Mike is one of the most successful vote earners in the history of our state. He beat his 2008 Democrat opponent by the largest margin of any contested race in the history of our state at the time. The thing about Mike is most people agree with him on many issues, not all, but many. However, the bigger factor is that they really, really like him. A lot.
He’s just one of those guys that runs for office to actually serve the people. Really. I’m not joking. His priority is to work hard, do the right thing, treat people fairly, be honest, and be humble. That’s who he is and those are virtues that Wyomingites hold dear.
So it came as a shock when Liz Cheney announced she was going to challenge Mike. Liz Cheney may be a rising Republican star in Washington, D.C. and among the TV talking heads, but not in Wyoming. Never has been a rising star in Wyoming politics. She has never before participated in Wyoming politics . . . until now . . . against Mike.
I intend to blog this race for you over the next thirteen months. But just to give you a little flavor of how the excitement for Liz is not shared among Wyomingites, Conservative Intel released a poll today and Mike Enzi is crushing Liz Cheney, 55% to 21%. Additionally, Mike Enzi’s approval among Republicans stands at 76% and his negatives are in the single digits. As a matter of fact, Mike Enzi has a better approval rating than former Vice President Dick Cheney in Wyoming.
It seems to me someone in the Liz Cheney fan club forgot to ask the most important question; Do the people of Wyoming feel the same way about Liz Cheney as all of the conservative politicos inside the beltway feel about her?
Right now, the answer is obvious. And, if I know my fellow Wyoming Republicans the way I think I do, there’s not much prospect for this to change.