and who is voting for her in 2024?

Liz Cheney would be Senator right now, and not lowly Congresswoman, had she followed some basic political etiquette in her initial Senate run. There was a doddering old man giving every indication he was about to retire. Liz Cheney just had to make party appearances where she could praise the Senator’s integrity and public service and blah blah, wait for the Senator’s announcement, then in her candidacy announcement reiterate all those points about the outgoing Senator’s integrity and history of public service, blah blah, and just hope when the good folks of Wyoming will send me in I will be able to fill his big shoes. Instead, she jumped the gun, her messaging about “new energy” landed on a slight and insult, and just as a matter of pride the old man had to run for re-election — where he promptly walloped Liz Cheney (a carpet-bagger who was tripped up on the campaign showing indications of having few lasting ties with the state. Also notable that Old Man Senator Enzi made an issue of Cheney’s support of torture, an assist from Rand Paul).

Flash forward a couple of years and Cheney runs for the open House seat. She beat a “nobody in particular” in the primary with a kind of unimpressive 60 percent in the vote. As she jumped ahead in Republican House leadership, polling showed she was not all that popular in the state. The whole effect is that pre – impeachment, pre-January 6th, and through an entire term saying nothing bad about Trump, she was leaving herself vulnerable for a potential Republican primary bid from someone who campaigning asserting attention to “Wyoming” with a suggestion that the incumbent was too nationally focused.

As so happens, while Cheney would indeed be Representative next year if not for January 6, Impeachment, and the hearings (and if she can’t be Senator because she made political mistakes out of vanity — high profile Congressional commitee chair is the next best stand-in) — her opponent was surely always keeping an eye on any opening for the decidedly weak and vulnerable incumbent, and had she not found it this year she would plausibly find it next time around. There the component pieces of the story — which in the case that happened are some of them but not all of them — would be identical to those of the Democratic “bigwig” incumbent who was beaten by AOC. (I think the story of Eric Cantor is a tad different.) A bit of an upshot is that I frankly don’t know if Elle Stefanik believes her crap on Trump — not that it matters.

It bugs me that various political stories get flattened into one dimensional narratives. Like the Roy Moore election, where his primary opponent was easily fingered as the lackey for an unpopular Governor everyone wanted to dump on — a part of the story which the national narrative skipped right over. Yes, it took someone with a right-wing base of support to begin a credible fight — but then it took an additional component of “screw that guy” voters to get him to a primary win. But never you mind.

Cheney had a history of voters not voting for her. That seems to be lost in the discussion. Plausibly for the best — as it does happen to be a bigger part of the story — and she did basically switch career paths in the midst of her election –but it needs to be noted: she kind of sucked as a politician.

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