Saturday, May 5, 2012

Liz Cheney Eyes the Political Stage

Liz Cheney has been making the rounds at Wyoming political events this spring and her desire to move back to the state has Republicans from Cheyenne to Washington buzzing about a potential future campaign.

With little fanfare, Cheney, a former State Department official and the eldest daughter of the former vice president, has spoken at six events in different corners of the sprawling state this year. She has been especially busy on the GOP dinner circuit. Cheney has already hit four county Lincoln Day Dinners and keynoted the dinner following the Wyoming GOP convention last month. She also accompanied and appeared on stage with her father when he made his first public appearance following his heart transplant at the state convention.

Cheney is currently a McLean, Va., resident and there has long been speculation among Republicans that she would eventually run for office there. But Cheney, a mother of five, is seeing her oldest child off to college this year and, along with her husband Philip, has long considered returning to the state that her father represented in the House. They hope to buy a house in Jackson Hole, where her parents also have a residence, but the move is not a sure thing.

Still, Cheney’s schedule and some of her rhetoric suggests someone who is eyeing an eventual campaign.

“Let me tell you why Wyoming’s style of politics is so important,” Cheney said last month at the Park County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner, according to the Cody Enterprise. “There is a personal touch here that gets amazing people into office.”

Talking to local radio station KGOS-KERM after speaking to Republicans at the Goshen County Lincoln-Reagan dinner, on the opposite end of the state from Cody, Cheney explained that her father was most proud of his days representing Wyoming.

“He has said to me that there is no title that he felt prouder of professionally than when he was called ‘The Gentleman from Wyoming,’” Cheney said, adding that her dad was also honored to serve as defense secretary and vice president.

Sounding every bit the aspiring politician, Cheney has demurred when asked about her ambitions.

“Right now, I’m focused on the presidential campaign and getting Mitt Romney elected,” she told the Cody paper.

Cheney declined to be interviewed by POLITICO.

But Wyoming politicos say local friends of Cheney are encouraging her to look at a run and helping her garner local press coverage by notifying Wyoming media outlets about her attendance at events. Few think she would be making stops in every corner of the state if she weren’t at least mulling a future run.

“She’s running up a lot of asphalt,” said Shawn Whitman, a Laramie native and former chief of staff for two Wyoming senators, of Cheney’s schedule. “This is planting seeds of thought in people’s minds. There’s nobody I know that goes to those events unless they have a position in the party or they’re trying to run for office.”

Friends of Cheney emphasize that she has no set plan to run and that she and her husband, an attorney, still need to reconcile issues related to their jobs and their children’s education before they can even move.

None in Cheney’s circle wanted to speak on the record, but her ambitions for public office have been more openly discussed of late as she treks back to Wyoming.

“She’s putting herself in a position now so she can eventually do it,” said one fellow Washington Republican.

Read the rest of the article

UPDATE: Earlier this morning on Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace asked Cheney if she is considering running for Senate in 2014. She deflected the question both times he asked. If I can locate the video of it, I will post it later. - Reggie

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