Liz Cheney's graceless concession speech follows her landslide defeat in WY primary
The outcome of the Republican primary for Wyoming's sole House seat was widely expected. Recent polls had Cheney trailing her top rival, Harriet Hageman, by double-digit margins.
Late yesterday, the inevitable occurred.
Rep. Liz Cheney suffered an emphatic routing in her Wyoming primary race. She ended up securing only 49,316 votes, which is just 28.9% of all the votes, while Hageman secured 109,902 votes, which is an emphatic 66.3% of the total votes, according to the latest count as of this writing.
After thanking her team and her family members, Cheney began her "concession" speech.
CNN video screen grab.
She claimed to have received a note from a Gold Star father more than a year ago. "He said to me, 'Standing up for truth honors all who gave all,' and I have thought of his words every single day since then," said Cheney.
Cheney went on to say the following:
Two years ago, I won this primary with 73 percent of the votes. I could easily have done the same again, the path was clear, but it would have required that I go along with President Trump's lie about the 2020 election. That is a path I would not take.
It would have required that I enable his ongoing efforts to unravel a democratic system and attack the foundations of our Republic. That was a path I could not and would not take.
No House seat, no office in this land is more important than the principles that we are all sworn to protect. And I well understood the potential political consequences of abiding by my duty.
The self-righteous Cheney was indirectly blaming Republican voters of Wyoming, implying they were immoral, ignorant, and gullible, hence they believe "the big lie" and voted for the wrong candidate. She claims to be the moral martyr who suffered for standing up for the right values.
Cheney said she had called her primary opponent Hageman to concede.
Cheney declared that "this primary election is over. But now the real work begins."
Cheney said that that work is rooted in the fight against "the conspiracy and the lies" about the 2020 elections. She called out without naming Republican candidates for governor, secretary of state, and other offices who she claimed support the "big lie."
Perhaps Cheney forgot that she had spread debunked conspiracy theories spread by Democrat propagandists in the NYT that the Russian military spy unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban terrorists to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Cheney also claimed to stand for the Constitution and the rule of law. If that were really the case, she would have insisted that Trump-defenders have seats on the January 6 committee. Instead, she willingly participates in a Stalinist show trial, whose mission is not to find facts but to persecute a political opponent.
Cheney said she "will do whatever it takes" to deny Trump a return to the Oval Office.
While she slammed Trump for inciting violence, her own words where she pledged to "do whatever it takes" to deny Trump a return to the Oval Office could be interpreted as a call to violence.
A good concession speech is one where the losing candidate congratulates the winner, accepts defeat, respects the voters and their choice, thanks his team and family, and wishes everyone well. Humility and graciousness are the key to it all. It always helps if the speech ends with a call to unity.
Cheney's speech was smug, sanctimonious, and passive-aggressive. She revealed herself to be a sore loser.
What has Cheney's record been?
Cheney's first foray into active politics was in 2013, when she surprised everyone by announcing her plan to challenge sitting U.S. senator Mike Enzi in a primary contest in Wyoming.
Enzi was a Wyoming resident and was popular in the state. He was also a friend of Dick Cheney. But that didn't matter. Liz, whose sole claim to fame was her surname, thought she could unseat Enzi.
Her Facebook post announcing her run was geotagged from her actual home in McLean, Virginia, and not Wyoming, while the jeans she wore to pretend to disguise herself as a Wyoming resident stained her hands blue because they were brand new.
The move was incongruous and reeked of entitlement. In the end, she had to withdraw in disgrace on health grounds.
She was elected to the House in 2016, after Rep. Cynthia Lummis resigned, and won two successive terms after that.
During her tenure in the House, she seldom visited her home state. She was also an advocate of her father Dick Cheney's hawkish policies that promote foreign military conflicts.
Republicans in Wyoming recall President Trump's tenure of economic prosperity and peace with fondness.
When they saw Cheney voting to impeach Trump, they were not pleased. They were incensed to see her dedicate her tenure to targeting Trump while not focusing on a single issue pertinent to their well-being, such as inflation and high energy prices, so they voted her out. They were also not fond of her advocacy of gratuitous military interventions.
Cheney dedicated a significant portion of her speech to talking about the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln. She appeared to compare herself to the first Republican president, reminding her audience that Lincoln "was defeated in elections for the Senate and House before he won the most important election of all."
The last person to compare herself to Lincoln was Hillary Clinton during her second presidential debate with Trump. We know how well that ended.
Her Lincoln remarks led some to speculate Cheney was contemplating a 2024 presidential run. If she tries, she will most certainly be defeated.
What about a third-party run, like Ross Perot?
Conventional thinking is that Cheney could end up stealing votes from the Republican presidential candidate and enable the Democrats to win. Hence she will be funded by the Washington Democrat Establishment, and she will dedicate her campaign to attacking the Republican candidate only.
But there is another way to think about this.
Perhaps there would be some Bush-Cheney GOP voters who so strongly disapprove of the likes of Trump that they vote for the Democrat for the lack of choice. If Cheney runs independently, they have a candidate who is not of the MAGA variety but is also not a Democrat. She could hence end up stealing votes from Democrats.
No matter how one looks at Liz Cheney, she is a spent force and will have no impact on the political landscape.