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How To Use This Site

This blog was updated on a daily basis for about two years, with those daily entries ceasing on December 31, 2013. The blog is still active, however, and we hope that people stopping in, who find something lacking, will add to the daily entries.

The blog still receives new posts as well, but now it receives them on items of Wyoming history. That has always been a feature of the blog, but Wyoming's history is rich and there are many items that are not fully covered here, if covered at all. Over time, we hope to remedy that.

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Wyoming History in the Making: January 6, 2014, Liz Cheney drops out of U.S. Senate race.

Liz Cheney dropped out of the primary campaign for the U.S. Senate citing a health concern within her family.  While some rumors indicate that one of her children has developed diabetes, always a serious disease and a particularly worrisome one in children, no official news has disclosed what that concern is.

Cheney, the daughter of former controversial Vice President Dick Cheney, mounted a controversial historic challenge of popular incumbent Mike Enzi.  Seeking to find a ground to stand against Enzi, she tacked to the right of Cheney in a campaign which drew a lot of attention, but at the time of her withdrawal was clearly failing.

While an internal party challenge to a sitting incumbent member of Congress from Wyoming isn't unusual, one that is such a serious effort is.  It is undoubtedly the most expensive such effort ever mounted in the state, and it started stunningly early.  While Cheney failed to gain enough adherents by this stage to make her primary election likely, she did polarize the GOP in the state, which seems to be emerging from a long period of internal unity, and which also seems to be beginning to move away from the Tea Party elements within it, much like the national party is. This could be the beginning of an interesting political era within the state or at least within the state's GOP.

It also served to bring up distinct arguments about who is entitled to run in Wyoming, with Liz Cheney's campaign apparently badly underestimating the degree of state identity born by many Wyomingites.  Voters appeared to not accept Cheney as a Wyomingite based upon her long absence from the state and appear to have also misinterpreted Wyoming's long re-election cycle for her father as a species of deep person admiration, rather than an admiration of effectiveness.  Late in the campaign she was forced to introduce television advertisements which did nothing other than to point out her family's connection (through her mother, her father was born in Nebraska and spent his early years there) to the state and which were silent on her career as a Virginia lawyer married to a man who is still a Virginia lawyer.

All in all, this early primary effort will likely remain a fairly unique historical episode in the state's history, but potentially one with some long term impacts.

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