Liz Cheney splits the Republican Party and wants to become President of the United States
There are still two years before the US presidential election, but passions are already running high. Donald Trump, whose estate was recently ransacked by FBI agents, is tormenting his supporters with anticipation of when he will announce his candidacy. Meanwhile, in the ranks of the Republican Party, the ex-president of America has a competitor. Liz Cheney is considering running for president. Who is this woman who has challenged not only Trump, but most Republicans? And what are her chances of success? Let's try to figure it out.
Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney has announced that she is considering running for the White House to prevent Donald Trump from winning another term as President of the United States.
Having signaled that she had presidential ambitions, Cheney apparently decided to turn her own loss to her advantage by raising the flag of an anti-Trump uprising within the conservative camp. “Liz Cheney's political life seems to be ending – and just beginning,” was the headline of The Washington Post recently.
The other day, Cheney decisively lost the Republican primaries in Wyoming and is now losing her seat in the US Congress. Trump-backed challenger Harriet Hageman edged out her rival by nearly 40 percentage points as Republican voters retaliated against Cheney for her vote to impeach Trump and her focus on her role on the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 Capitol assault.
This group of lawmakers, chaired by Republican Cheney, is investigating Donald Trump's role in a futile attempt to stay in office after losing to Joe Biden and fueling a riot in the Capitol by supporters of the ex-president last January.
The loss in the Republican primary in Wyoming came as no surprise to Cheney. She had long expected to cede the state victory — and with it her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives — to a Trump-backed candidate. But she uses her defeat as a start for a game with higher stakes.
The other day, 56-year-old Liz Cheney was asked on the NBC Today program if she was thinking about running for president. She didn't answer the question directly, but when pressed a second time, she admitted that she did: “I'm thinking about it and will make a decision in the coming months.”
Cheney stated that she “will do her best to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office.” After her defeat to Hageman was confirmed, aides revealed that Liz Cheney was planning to form her own political action committee.
“In the coming weeks, Liz will form an organization to educate the American people about the ongoing threat to our Republic and mobilize a united effort to counter any Donald Trump presidential campaign,” Cheney spokesman Jeremy Adler said.
According to NBC, the new organization would be called The Great Task, the title of Cheney's last speech to Wyoming voters, a reference to Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg speech.
Liz Cheney laid out her priorities for the next few months before leaving the House of Representatives in January. In particular, she expressed concern that the Republican Party was struck by the “cult of personality” (it is not difficult to guess that this is an attack on Trump).
“We must return this party to where we accept the values and principles on which it was based. And talk about the fundamental questions of civil law, the fundamental questions of what it means to be a constitutional republic,” Cheney urges.
Now looking like a kind of “black sheep” in the party, Liz Cheney also attacked the leader of the Republicans in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, who orchestrated her removal from the leadership of the party in May 2021 after she condemned Trump’s statements about the “stolen” elections. She expressed her belief that “the Republican Party is in a very bad state today.”
“Donald Trump betrayed Republican voters,” Cheney rages. – He lied to them. Those who support him have been lied to and popular patriotism is being used against them. People are cashing in on patriotism… I believe that Donald Trump continues to pose a very serious threat, a risk to our republic, and I think that for his victory it will take a broad and united front of Republicans, Democrats and independents. This is what I intend to be a part of.”
It will be a difficult and lonely struggle within the party to achieve this goal, as the vast majority of Republican lawmakers either firmly support Trump or refrain from criticizing him.
“Of course, Cheney will continue to identify as a Republican, but she will definitely be on the fringes of her party: what was once marginal is now the center, and what was in the center has become marginal,” the Financial Times quoted a senior fellow as saying. Matt Continetti American Enterprise Institute.
Liz Cheney's request for leadership in the Republican Party, and there – and at the level of the United States – is not a momentary whim. Analysts say she has a long-term strategy to lead the post-Trump Republicans.
Liz Cheney has a good background for presidential ambitions. Not only is she a representative of a political dynasty, the eldest daughter of former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney, but she has managed to gain a well-known reputation in American politics in her own right – she held several positions in the State Department during the George W. Bush administration, in particular, as a deputy assistant Secretary of State for Middle East Affairs.
And yet the shadow of her father falls on the figure of Trump's opponent. “When you study Rep. Liz Cheney’s (R-Wyoming) speech style—an unwavering tone of voice even as she delivers dire warnings about the unreliability of American democracy, a slight tilt of her head forward as she fixes her gaze on the audience, a leisurely intonation in her reproaches to deniers of the election, even her clenched jaw – it is impossible not to see her father Dick Cheney, writes The Washington Post. “The manners and style of the former vice president are forever in his daughter.”
Cheney is considered a member of the Republican establishment, one of the leaders of the neo-conservative wing of the party, and a “hawk” in foreign policy (to the extent that she opposes the policy of no first use of nuclear weapons, but defends the practice of torture by US intelligence agencies). During the Trump administration, she was critical of his administration's foreign policy while voting strongly in support of his overall agenda.
At a certain point, Liz Cheney did not even act as a “white crow”, but a “black sheep” from the point of view of many Republican party members: she supported the second impeachment of Donald Trump for his role in the storming of the US Capitol in 2021. For this, they tried to remove her from the leadership of the party, and at least not on the first attempt, the supporters of the ex-president succeeded, taking advantage of the support of the leader of the Republican minority in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy. Due to outright hatred on the part of some Republicans, Liz Cheney had to spend 58 thousand dollars on private security.
But in July last year, Democrat Nancy Pelosi appointed Cheney to the House Select Committee on the attack on the Capitol on January 6, and two month, she became vice-chairman of the committee.
In the meantime, Liz Cheney's divisive position, from the point of view of Trump's supporters, cost her a loss in the Republican primaries in Wyoming, and, consequently, a seat in the House of Representatives. And at the moment, her prospects look bleak.
So Liz Cheney became “a stranger among her own and her own among strangers.” True, according to experts, she remains a staunch conservative – and Democrats, who like her opposition to Trump, will never like her policies. As The Washington Post writes about this, “Cheney's presence in American politics is both pleasant and unpleasant. Her conservative political preferences are undeniable. What she voted for hurts liberals.”
And as the Financial Times points out, Cheney’s family ties to the George W. center-left voters, even as she grew in respect among liberals as she fought to hold Trump accountable.
If she runs for president, the right-wing anger against her will only increase, whether she opposes Trump for the Republican nomination or as an independent.
“After Jan. 6, Cheney had a choice between political viability, which would include softening her outrage at Trump's lies about the 2020 election, or political suicide,” writes an op-ed in Politico. She opted for the spectacular act of self-immolation — lighting up the night sky like a nuclear reactor at the start of the HBO miniseries Chernobyl. It was a wonderful loss. Few elected officials are willing to sacrifice their office because of a deep principle. Cheney did so without hesitation. History will remember her fondly and better than other members of her party who repeated or tolerated lies just to maintain or gain political power. However, she has undoubtedly cut herself off from being able to positively influence the direction of the Republican Party through electoral politics. If she runs for president either in the GOP primary or as an independent in the general election, the effort will be empty at best and possibly quite damaging.”
It's hard to say what will happen in 2024 yet. – you still have to live to see it. But for now, observers believe that Liz Cheney will have little chance of winning, but she will be able to take decisive votes from Trump.