Why Liz Cheney Can Get Elected to the Senate in 2020

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 7 2014 11:39 AM

Why Liz Cheney Can Get Elected to the Senate in 2020

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See ya in six years, Liz.

Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images

Lynne Cheney talks to USA Today, gets asked whether her daughter Liz should run for office again, and tells today's funniest joke.

I sure hope so. She is a great candidate and, you know, the family was going through some crises. It's now evened out. She did exactly the right thing to turn her attention to some difficult situations, and she'll do exactly the right thing, in my opinion, if she runs for office again. She'd be a terrific candidate and a terrific representative or senator for us.
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It's true that the official reason for Cheney's exit from the Wyoming U.S. Senate primary was "serious health issues" within her young family. It's also true that, prior to her decision, Cheney had been plummeting with the velocity, but none of the wonder, of a first-time skydiver. Her campaign was imploding, beset by a tabloid-friendly fight between her and her out lesbian sister Mary. While working as a Fox News pundit, Liz Cheney had been basically pro-gay marriage. Back in Wyoming, she flipped. Her sister laid into the candidate: "This isn't like a disagreement over grazing fees or what to do about Iran." The American Principles Fund, meanwhile, bought TV ads reminding Wyomings of Cheney's old position.

How to fix this? Time. In an amusing 2013 experiment, Nate Silver ran the numbers for gay marriage approval in every state and projected when the holdouts might legalize the institution. Wyoming, he wrote, may be pro-gay marriage come 2020. That's promising—the seat of Mike Enzi, who humiliated Cheney this time, will be up again that year. It's not likely that most Republicans will approve of gay marriage by then, but the issue might be enough of a wash for Cheney to run without flagrantly lying and alienating her kin.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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