Rep. Cynthia Lummis, a two-term Republican lawmaker, called Cheney “the shiny new pony” in Wyoming politics, but slammed Cheney for a lack of etiquette in making her intentions known to her opponent, Sen. Mike Enzi.Of course Lummis is also annoyed because until Cheney entered the scene, she was the heir apparent to Enzi. In fact, if Enzi does bow out (which is still possible), she'll run in his place.
“I don’t think she’s going about it the right way,” Lummis, R-Wyo., told a scrum of reporters in the Speaker’s Lobby during votes on Tuesday night. [...] “There’s a great history of intraparty decorum in Wyoming, especially when it comes to these higher-profile offices, and certainly that decorum has been broken here,” she added. “I think it’s problematic. I think it’s bad form.”
Like Lummis, Enzi himself (not surprisingly) is also whining about Cheney's entrance:
“She said that if I ran she wasn’t going to run, but obviously that wasn’t correct,” Enzi said, speaking to reporters as he left the Senate floor. “I thought we were friends. [...] It’s kind of interesting that about 30 minutes after I put out a release saying that I intend to run, she put out one saying she was running,” Enzi told reporters. “She’s watching pretty closely what I’m doing. This is different than what she was saying before — that if I didn’t run, she would run.”Enzi sounds like he's offended by Cheney's decision to run, but he shouldn't be taking this personally. There are two reasons why she's running, and neither of them have anything to do with him.
First, Liz Cheney thinks she's entitled to whatever she wants because she's Dick Cheney's daughter.
Second, Wyoming has about ten thousand times as many tumbleweeds as it does actual people, so Cheney doesn't think victory will be hard.
In Wyoming, winning the Republican primary is pretty much a guarantee that you'll win the general—and it doesn't take much to win the primary. In 2010, which was the highest turnout Republican primary in recent years, just 110,000 people turned out to vote. In other words, Cheney realizes that even if 2014 is also a high-turnout primary, she only needs to win about 55,000 votes to become a U.S. Senator.
So while Liz Cheney running isn't good news for Mike Enzi and isn't good news for Republicans who want to avoid intraparty fights, it wouldn't take much for her to win. And that's good news for Liz Cheney—and for those of us who are easily amused by the sight of Republicans eating their own.