The Cheney Dynasty Rises

Liz Cheney Liz Cheney Cliff Owen/AP File Photo

The Bushes. The Clintons. Now, the Cheneys hope to be the new political dynasty on the block.

On Tuesday, Liz Cheney issued a statement saying she will run for the Senate seat from Wyoming in 2014. Her statement came just minutes after the man holding that seat, Republican Senator Mike Enzi, announced he would seek a fourth term. The two will now likely meet in a GOP primary next year.

Earlier this month, The New York Times' Jonathan Martin reported that this move could be coming. As Martin reported, it's not that Enzi even has aparticularly bad relationship with the Cheneys: The senator refers to the former vice president as a "good friend." But Dick Cheney, who started out in politics in Wyoming, so far seems to be aggressively backing his daughter's campaign.

According to Martin, the former vice president has "relied heavily" on Liz Cheney since leaving the White House -- including for help in writing his memoir. And in recent months, he has pumped up his daughter's potential candidacy with national Republican donors and has been more publicly wading into Wyoming's political world.

Liz Cheney, according to Martin, is expected to paint Enzi as being too eager to compromise and not eager enough to push conservative causes. According to National Journal's vote rankings, Enzi was the eighth-most-conservative senator in 2012.

So far, Republicans aren't proving ready to flee Enzi for Cheney. That's as true for Republicans in Wyoming as it is nationally. Last week, Senator Rand Paul called Enzi a "good conservative," telling Politico that Enzi would have his not-insubstantial support. Paul also expressed some skepticism about Liz Cheney, saying he doesn't "know much about her or her politics."

As for Enzi? In a statement, he said that Liz Cheney had told him that if he ran, she wouldn't run: "I thought we were friends."

But Liz Cheney has not just been content to live in her father's shadow. Aside from serving in the Bush State Department and being otherwise active in Republican politics, she's been outspoken on politics, both as a commentator on Fox News and in her own right. In a March Wall Street Journal op-ed, she wrote that President Obama is "the most radical man to ever occupy the Oval Office" and that Republicans "are all that stands between this president's policies and a damaged and diminished America." In the same op-ed, she disparaged the idea that Republicans need to moderate their views, writing "we know that preventing this president from enacting devastating policies is not obstructionism. It is patriotism."

There is one issue that will be interesting to watch Liz Cheney's position. In 2009, her father voiced his support for same-sex marriage:

Well, I think that freedom means freedom for everyone. As many of you know, one of my daughters is gay, and it is something that, uh, we have lived with for a long time, in our family. I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish. Any kind of arrangement they wish. The question of whether or not there ought to be a federal statute that governs this, I don't support. I do believe that historically the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level. It has always been a state issue, and I think that's the way it ought to be handled today, that is on a state-by-state basis. Different states will make different decisions. But I don't have any problem with that. I think people ought to get a shot at that.

That kind of position is relatively rare for a member of the Republican Party, especially in the Senate. However, it's also one that so far seems to be shared by Liz Cheney, who backed the idea that "freedom means freedom for everybody" and that the decision should be decided by the states in a 2009 MSNBC interview.

They may not be the Clintons, but the budding attempt at a Cheney dynasty will definitely be interesting to watch in the coming months.

Here is Liz Cheney's announcement video:

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.