Reports are circulating today that Elizabeth Cheney, daughter of former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, is relinquishing her bid for one of Wyoming's Senate seats. Cheney, who held several positions in the Bush White House, was attempting to unseat three-time incumbent Mike Enzi. Cheney dropped out of the race officially today, citing "serious health problems" in her family.
While no one is doubting Cheney's reason for dropping out of the race, outlets across the country are scrambling to understand how her campaign could have come to such an ignominious end.
Elizabeth Cheney's bid for a seat in Wyoming met public opposition almost from the outset, and didn't get any easier for the candidate. Longtime Republicans resented Cheney's attempt to take a seat from her own party. Longtime Wyoming residents didn't appreciate the candidate chasing an office when she'd only lived in the state for eight months before declaring her candidacy. And, most recently, Elizabeth Cheney's opposition to gay marriage sparked a very public feud with her sister, Mary, a married lesbian.
Some experts believe that Cheney would have stood a much better chance had she stayed in her home state of Virginia, rather than moving to Wyoming, the state which elected her father to the House of Representatives in 1979. That could very well be true, as several people have also voiced their distaste with Elizabeth Cheney's apparent attempt to use her father's legacy (such as it is) and financial ties to get her a Senate seat.
Liz Cheney's Senate race seemed almost doomed from the start. It incurred the wrath of Senate Republicans who couldn't fathom why this confrontation was even taking place and it baffled the public in Wyoming, who could make any real distinctions between Cheney and Enzi. Cheney even seemed unable to drum up any appreciable difference between her and Enzi. In the end, a local executive, Rick Scum (which I swear is his real name), might have said it best: "I don’t see any need for change for change’s sake."
The odds were good the people of Wyoming would have felt the same way.