Home/Daniel Larison/Possibly the Most Pointless Primary Challenge Ever

Possibly the Most Pointless Primary Challenge Ever

So it’s official. Liz Cheney has announced her intention to seek the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in Wyoming:

Cheney, 46, is the elder of Dick Cheney’s two daughters. Her announcement is a political challenge unlike anything Wyoming has seen for years, maybe decades — Republicans in the state rarely challenge incumbents in national office.

It goes without saying that there is nothing wrong with challenging incumbents, and launching intra-party challenges can be an important means to hold politicians accountable when they ignore their constituents or cease to be effective advocates for the people that put them in office. The obvious flaw in Cheney’s challenge is that Enzi has done nothing to anger voters in Wyoming or conservatives nationally. Other than trying to re-establish the Cheney family in Wyoming politics, her candidacy serves no purpose. It’s not as if Enzi’s foreign policy views are anything like those of Hagel or Lugar, so Cheney will be hard-pressed to make use of the hawkish credentials she has been building for so many years. Except for her hard-line foreign policy advocacy, Cheney doesn’t have much to offer Wyoming voters, so it’s not clear why they would chuck out a popular incumbent to make way for her. No one in the Senate is entitled to keep a seat, but launching a primary challenge purely for the sake of dynasty-building is ridiculous. If we’re talking about an unreasonable sense of entitlement, perhaps it would be better to look at the presumption of the daughter of a former Vice President to run for high office in a state where she is barely a resident.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

leave a comment

Latest Articles