Mike Enzi vs. Liz Cheney could be the highlight of the 2014 election cycle
2014, politically, will likely be remembered for whatever happens in the mid-terms regarding the context of Congressional composition. Is someone going to make a big move towards 2016? Is the GOP going to become the party of Ted Cruz, etc? It’s entirely possible, though, that a primary in Wyoming (which has less people than Alaska) might be a national main event for the cycle.
You’ve got Mike Enzi, a U.S. Senator since 1996 and one of the most conservative voices in the entire Senate. On the other side, you’ve got Liz Cheney — extremely conservative in her own right and owning a famous last name, which is a huge deal in American politics. Already, the two are lobbing grenades back and forth about Syria, age, fishing trips, gay marriage, fundraising, and relationship with Alan Simpson.
Via one early poll, Enzi seems to be the favorite; his 2002 and 2008 elections weren’t really close, but his 1996 primary election was contested, as was his 1996 general election (eight points or so). A lot of time has passed since then and Enzi has built up a much stronger base and relationships within Wyoming, but it seems the theme of Cheney’s campaign will be “Washington insiders vs. Wyomingians.” (Odd argument, since she only moved back to Wyoming very recently — from Virginia.) If she can hammer on that, maybe she can make a dent; some in Wyoming believe she can win, albeit needing a mostly error-free campaign to do so. Michelle Cottle over at The Daily Beast is all for Cheney being aggressive — so long as she doesn’t win. Rand Paul is going HAM (Google it) for Enzi, whereas The Christian Science Monitor and The Fix both believe Cheney presents a huge threat to Enzi.
Liz Cheney has argued that Obama wants to “weaken our power in the world,” as well as claiming we “abandoned” a country that hasn’t existed since the 1990s. Enzi has said regarding a health care monopoly and blocking it: “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.” He’s also potentially got some less-than-genuine stuff going on with clean coal.
Anyway you cut the deck on this thing, it’s going to be an epicenter battle and get more national attention than a Wyoming race would typically get (one of my friends from college is a State Rep out there, so I have a soft spot in my heart for the politics of the Big Sky). Get your popcorn ready, and get those Star Wars references ready too: