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There is a new story out today about Liz Cheney considering a run for Wyoming Senate in 2014 against incumbent Mike Enzi (R-WY).

The first reaction many here would be "OMG, we have to stop her!" I am here to try and convince you to resist that impulse, because Liz running would create a fantastic opportunity for a democratic pick-up in the 2014 election.

The story in the New York Times is about how the WY GOP is worried about a Liz Cheney run, and they have every reason to be. Mike Enzi is a well liked incumbent and often portrayed as a moderate voice in the republican caucus. If Liz Cheney is going to make any traction against that she is going to have to appeal to more extremist sentiments within the republican electorate.

Now that may a ticket for success in many states, but Wyoming isn't like many states.  These are ranchers and farmers and oil/gas workers.  I think a hotly contested primary or even an independent run by Liz Cheney would put off many voters and give us an excellent opportunity to pick up a senate seat IF we can get the right democrat to run.

That democrat, is former WY Governor Dave Freudenthal.  He was a recent, 2 term Democratic Governor who won re-election with 69% of the vote in a VERY red state.  He would probably never run against an uncontested Enzi.  However, if Liz Cheney throws her hat in the ring, weakening or splitting the republican vote, Governor Dave could win it handily (and the Wyoming GOP knows it).

Now, I'll be honest, he is not the KIND of democrat many here will prefer.  I have a lot of family in WY and they are ALL righties, and of those who support and like Governor Dave, they do so because he's NOT a liberal and because he listened and was receptive to his constituents (again, this is a red state).  However, he did also endorse Obama in the 2008 democratic caucus against Hillary Clinton.  I think he would be a reliable vote for the most critical democratic agendas, especially those that would benefit his constituents. And I think he could sell several democratic initiatives to his constituents.

I don't know what Dave's current situation is.  I heard from my mother that his wife got a federal judge appointment and he's currently working for a law practice.  But if Liz Cheney runs against Enzi, a "Draft Dave" movement would be well worth the effort.  He is the only democrat I know of in Wyoming who could pick up this seat.

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Comment Preferences

  •  One can only hope. :-) n/t (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DawnG, JeffW, 88kathy, JBL55, ER Doc, Matt Z

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:44:35 AM PDT

  •  The thing Liz is really known for (10+ / 0-)

    is her uber-hawkish points of view mirroring her father's, and she was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs during the Bush administration. I don't know how well this will play in WY, do you have a sense? I read the NYT article yesterday and it made it sound like people might not take kindly to an inside the Beltway carpetbagger, but she will certainly have a lot of money behind her. I don't understand why she doesn't just run for something in Virginia where she has always lived, if I lived in WY I would find it annoying to have her move there and instantly try to run for Senate.

    •  Liz has spent most of her life in VA. (6+ / 0-)

      According to the article, she only recently moved to Jackson Hole (presumably to establish residency).  Enzi has a legitimate "Carpetbagger" line of attack, but that's going to depend on whether Dick Cheney throws his support to his daughter. I don't know that that's a sure thing, especially during a primary and it will depend on how much Dick is willing to screw over the state party to get his daughter ahead.

      If Dick endorses his daughter from the get-go, Enzi is in serious "under the bus" trouble. But even if that is the case, Liz is going to have to stake a LOT of extreme positions to defeat Enzi.  She and Enzi will have to be REALLY nasty to come out on top.  It's going to put off a lot of people, which I think Dave can capitalize on.

      This bitter contest is either going to happen, or it won't.  But if it does, dems should not be sitting on their hands and watching.  We need to put up a serious contender.

      This presents an opportunity, but that means nothing if there's no one there to take advantage of it.

      GOP Motto: The rich don't have nearly enough and the poor have way too much.

      by DawnG on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:16:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would imagine (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        msmacgyver, JBL55, blueoregon, Matt Z

        that he would endorse her, but it's almost something you can shrug off when it's somebody's own child, if that makes sense. IOW, my feeling would be, well of course he endorsed her, it's his kid. It seems like the endorsement would mean more if it were some other politician he wasn't related to.

        Good luck to WY Dems. I am not familiar with them but I hope there is somebody waiting in the wings.

        •  His early support is going to hinge... (3+ / 0-)

          ...on how willing he is to screw over the local party and Enzi in particular.  He may be non-committal during the primary. He may say good things about both Liz and Enzi.

          Or he may put his full weight behind Liz, but it's not a sure thing by any means.

          GOP Motto: The rich don't have nearly enough and the poor have way too much.

          by DawnG on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:46:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It's an excellent article which (6+ / 0-)

      I also read yesterday.  I think the republican establishment in Wyoming is going to give her a polite but very firm non-endorsement.  It appears that the Cheneys do intimidate.  This excerpt at the end of the article sums it up, IMO.  

      That message was echoed by Republicans at Mr. Enzi’s town hall sessions. The mere mention of Ms. Cheney to a woman after an event in Newcastle brought forth disapproving references to an article published a few days earlier in a Casper newspaper about a political organization based in California promoting her candidacy for Senate. (Ms. Cheney said through an aide that she had no connection to the group.)

      “It wouldn’t go over well here if she stepped over him,” the woman said. “She just moved back here, she didn’t even grow up here, and I don’t think she could beat him.”

      But seeing a reporter jot down her remarks, the woman pleaded that her name not be published because she did not want to offend the Cheneys.

      “We love her and her family, and we hope she has a place,” she said. “But not his place.”


      When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

      by msmacgyver on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:39:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Liz has national ambition. (5+ / 0-)

        She sees WY as a stepping stone towards that ambition and a lot of people in WY recognize that and THAT is what I think will put off people.

        Wyoming is a small state.  They want people who will represent THEM, not use them to climb a ladder.  I think Liz could get a lot of support. I even think she COULD win a primary against Enzi, but I don't see her winning in a walk if there is a good option on the Dem side.

        Unfortunately, I think Dave is the only other option that would sway voters away from Liz if she did win the primary.  Even if Enzi won, he may be weakened to the point that Dave could still take it.

        It's an opportunity, not a sure thing.

        GOP Motto: The rich don't have nearly enough and the poor have way too much.

        by DawnG on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:59:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree that it's an opportunity to, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JBraden

          if nothing else, create division in the republican party.

          I hope she challenges Enzi who, from all accounts, does a good job for his state.  Nothing like dirtying up a fairly good man to get an extremist Bagger nominated!

          When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

          by msmacgyver on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:24:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  To my knowledge.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DawnG, JBL55

    .....Dave Freudenthal is completely uninterested in national politics, as is Brad Henry in Oklahoma. I might be wrong, though.

    •  That is certainly possible. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JBL55

      Or he may be acting demure so as not to draw GOP attention.  Who can say? From everything I've heard of him he knows how to put on a good political "show".  He also knows how to win over voters who would otherwise be turned off by his party affiliation.

      Like I said, he would probably never run against an uncontested Enzi and I think part of that is a reticence to get back into the rigors of campaigning. But I also think he may take advantage of the right opportunity if there was enough support (public, party, monetary, etc) and demand for it.

      Make no mistake, this is only an opportunity for dems if Dave makes a run for it.  THAT is exactly what the GOP fears if Liz Cheney runs against Enzi. Waking the sleeping giant, as it were.

      GOP Motto: The rich don't have nearly enough and the poor have way too much.

      by DawnG on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:05:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Moreover, states with deep hues of red or blue (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JBL55, Jay C

      are far more likely to vote in a gubernatorial candidate of the other party than they are a senate candidate. A state as red as Wyoming would need either a Martha Coakley (special election, dreadful candidate, forthcoming national wave election) or Ted Stevens (indictment, national wave election) situation for a Democrat--even a popular one like Freudenthal--to prevail.

      Unapologetic Obama supporter.

      by Red Sox on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:28:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another nut from WY. or a bluedog, hmmm (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    msmacgyver

    If it meant holding on to the Senate, I'd choose the bluedog over the right wing nut any day.  But Bluedogs give the media an opportunity to shout "bipartisan" on every stupid piece of Legislation the Repugs pass or every good piece of legislation they can filibuster.

    I live 4 miles from the boarder of WY and do everything in Laramie, probably the most progressive town in WY, and there's still an awful lot of really crazy people around here.

    •  I don't see Freudenthal... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc

      ...doing the Sunday talk show circuit or seeking the media limelight.  He may vote against dem bills, but I don't see him going out of his way to undermine them like a lot of blue dogs do.

      GOP Motto: The rich don't have nearly enough and the poor have way too much.

      by DawnG on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:41:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Amen. (0+ / 0-)

        There's a HUGE difference between someone who votes against caucus from time to time (like Landrieu, Tester, and Pryor) and someone who votes against caucus and then runs to the nearest camera to trash said caucus and spout the other caucus's talking points (like Earl B. Nelson, Lincoln, and Lieberman).  I can deal with the former; the latter, not so much.  Luckily, I don't think Freudenthal would be one to try and score cheap political points on the Sunday Showz.

        Born, raised, and currently reside in PA-3 (where birth control is tantamount to Pearl Harbor and 9/11); college in the old OH-10; graduate school in the old OH-17

        by JBraden on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:09:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  bring it on (0+ / 0-)

    she has the personality of a dead fish, she is extremely vulnerable to attack as an unaccomplished shrew who got her job because of her daddy and there are many republicans who will stay home rather than vote for an out lesbian even one of theirs.

    •  Since when has that been an obstacle... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JBL55, stagemom

      ...to getting elected?  Especially as a republican?

      Whatever your personal feelings are for her, Liz Cheney does have a significant chance of winning, especially if Dems don't put forth anything better.

      Name calling and snide comments won't change that.  It just makes YOU look ugly.

      GOP Motto: The rich don't have nearly enough and the poor have way too much.

      by DawnG on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:43:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You are referring to Mary Cheney (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JBL55, stagemom

      Wiki entry excerpt:

      Mary Claire Cheney (born March 14, 1969) is the second daughter of Dick Cheney, the former Vice President of the United States, and his wife, Lynne Cheney. She is openly lesbian, has voiced support for same-sex marriage, and has been credited with encouraging her father to support same-sex marriage.

      In 2013, Cheney was a signatory to an amicus curiae brief submitted to the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage during the Hollingsworth v. Perry case.

      When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

      by msmacgyver on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:44:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Liz (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stagemom

      Liz is not Cheney's lesbian daughter - Liz has five kids. Mary is the lesbian.

  •  Doubtful (0+ / 0-)

    Romney won Wyoming with over double the votes as Obama: 68.6% - 27.8%.

    John Barrasso was re-elected 75.7 - 21.7, over three times the votes of his challenger.

    •  And Dave won re-election with 69%... (3+ / 0-)

      ...of the vote.  And still maintains a very positive reputation among Wyoming voters.

      I am not saying that this is an opportunity for Democrats in general and I am not saying it's a sure thing by ANY means.  It is ONLY an opportunity if Dave runs.  He is probably the ONLY democrat in Wyoming who has a chance.

      Wyoming is a small state.  They may not like Obama, but they like Dave.

      GOP Motto: The rich don't have nearly enough and the poor have way too much.

      by DawnG on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:51:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  could be but... (0+ / 0-)

        sending a Democrat to a state capital and sending one to Washington can often be two different things.

        "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

        by JackND on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 01:41:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Any prizes for the first photograph of LizCheney (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DawnG, JBL55, ER Doc

    in a cowboy hat?

    hee-haw!

    Notice: This Comment © 2013 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 10:56:31 AM PDT

  •  Ah, yes: "Daddy's Little Draft Deferment." (2+ / 0-)

    She has ridden her father's coattails right into the halls of punditry.  Faux News punditry, anyway.

    I would love to see her ass handed to her in an actual election.

  •  Enzi is a RINO? (0+ / 0-)

    Who knew???

  •  I don't think it will change a thing. (0+ / 0-)

    I lived in Wyoming for 2 decades. They GOP may have a drawn out fight over Cheney but on election day, they will vote for the person with an (R) after their name.

    John Roberts? Melville Fuller?? WTF is the difference???.

    by Walt starr on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:18:12 AM PDT

    •  That is a certainty... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bluebrain

      ...if there's no decent Dem running.

      And if we don't try we'll never know.  This is the best opportunity for a dem to win Wyoming senate, not to be mistaken for a GREAT opportunity but the best one you're likely to see in a long time.

      Still, if it came down to Liz Cheney after a toxic primary (and she really can't win any other way) and Dave Freudenthal, I think Dave takes it.  If it came down to Enzi and Dave, I think it would be closer than if it were any other democrat but Enzi probably wins.

      GOP Motto: The rich don't have nearly enough and the poor have way too much.

      by DawnG on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:27:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder how much of a factor the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    spoiled little rich girl "Daddy's going to buy her a Senate seat" perception is going to hurt her with the hard working Wyoming gop types in the primary?

    I ask him if he was warm enough? "Warm," he growled, "I haven't been warm since Bastogne."

    by Unrepentant Liberal on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:30:05 AM PDT

  •  Not exactly a newsflash (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DawnG

    "Now, I'll be honest, he is not the KIND of democrat many here will prefer."

    This is Wyoming. Anyone who thinks you're ever going to get the kind of Democrat that most progressive Democrats prefer is delusional. That can be said about pretty much all midwest and southern states.

    People can complain all they want about "conservadems" but if they insist on being purists, then at least acknowledge you're ceding those seats to Republicans.  Senator Heidi Heitkamp won by 2,994 votes, less than 1% of the ballots cast in North Dakota. What exactly do you think would have happened if a Bernie Sanders-type had been the Democratic opponent?

  •  Gov Dave (0+ / 0-)

    In many peoples' opinions' in Wyoming, Dave is a DINO - he did not show himself to be a Democrat at all. I have lived in Wyoming all of my life and there have been very few Democrats in national office here. We have had Democratic governors several times, but not many senators or representatives. The Wyoming Republican party is eating itself alive right now over the situation with the school superintendent and I am enjoying every minute of it. Also, Enzi is about as effective a senator as was Craig Thomas - just collecting his paycheck and not rocking the boat. We are so lucky to have him and Barasso - who is a total idiot!

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