Updated at 7:30 pm EDT, with Jim Rowley contributing
Primary, the verb.
It’s an action that chills the spines of incumbent congressmen comfortable within their party lanes, and suddenly flanked by someone who might stand between them and their base.
Enter Liz Cheney, 46, older daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney. Today she confirmed suspicions in Wyoming that she will challenge Sen. Mike Enzi for the Republican Party’s nomination next year.
“I thought we were friends,” Enzi said, suggesting that the timing of Cheney’s announcement may not be in sync with the political culture back home. “Nobody in Wyoming likes a long campaign,” he said. “Anybody from Wyoming would know that they will be able to make up their mind in a lot less time from right now” until the August 2014 primary.
This is the state Cheney’s father represented in Congress.
She traces her ancestors, who settled in search of “religious freedom,” to 1885.
Cheney will primary Enzi, in a state whose incumbent congressmen — both senators and the congressman are Republicans — aren’t accustomed to getting primaried.
She has taken up residence in Jackson Hole for the campaign. She is talking about the Second Amendment and American security — accusing President Barack Obama of “pre-emptively disarming America.” Instead of “cutting deals” with Obama’s “liberal allies,” she says, we must fight them “every step of the way.”
”This president is nowhere near the man or leader Dick Cheney is,” she has famously said.
The Fox News political commentator doesn’t have the longest government resume — with a University of Chicago law degree, she did work for the State Department in her father’s administration. And she helped her father write his memoirs.
But she’s got a primary name.
And it was Enzi, in fact, who tweeted this today, during the debate over confirmation of Richard Cordray for consumer protection:
— Mike Enzi (@SenatorEnzi) July 16, 2013
This probably wasn’t what he had in mind.