It’s never been entirely clear what Liz Cheney was thinking. In July, the far-right media personality launched a Senate campaign in Wyoming – a state she’d moved to only a year prior – taking on a popular, conservative incumbent, Sen. Mike Enzi (R).
The fight lacked the elements one would ordinarily expect in a high-profile primary race: Enzi and Cheney are both very conservative; they agree on the key issues; and the challenger had no specific proposals she was eager to bring to the fore with a statewide candidacy. Indeed, her most notable accomplishments as a candidate were a humiliating controversy over a fishing license and a family dispute over her opposition to her own sister’s right to get married.
This morning, Cheney’s troubled candidacy came to an abrupt end.
Liz Cheney is abandoning her bid to represent Wyoming in the Senate.“Serious health issues have recently arisen in our family, and under the circumstances, I have decided to discontinue my campaign,” Cheney said in a statement. “My children and their futures were the motivation for our campaign and their health and well-being will always be my overriding priority.”
The statement did not go into any details about the nature of the health issues.
Note, Cheney’s candidacy started on awkward footing and managed to get considerably worse as it progressed. It’s easy to remember first-time candidates who came up short, but nevertheless proved impressive, creating new opportunities for future efforts. Cheney, however, appears to have largely done the opposite – she was an awful candidate who grew less popular among voters the more they got to know her. Cheney somehow managed to alienate the public, party insiders, former allies, and blood relatives, all at the same time.
If she intends to run again, in Wyoming or elsewhere, the severity of Cheney’s failure will likely linger, making future successes difficult.