Rand Paul is either the most political savvy Republican in decades, or he is genuinely a man of conviction. Agreeing with him is often difficult, because, much like his father, he seems to travel to the edge of extremism. Today, he has taken a position that will place him in a position which opposes the Republican ‘old guard.’ He stated a position Wednesday which will place him in a political war with Liz Cheney, the daughter of the former vice-president.
Senator Paul has endorsed incumbent Mike Enzi in Wyoming. Liz Cheney declared her candidacy to challenge Enzi in the 2014 Republican primary Tuesday.
Paul indicated that there may be some political backlash directed at Cheney for her challenge seeking Enzi’s seat.
“I don’t think it probably will be helpful in the long run. I’m pretty sure Senator Enzi will be able to hold off against any primary challenge,” Paul said. “In doing so there will be some people that won’t be so happy with the primary challenge, that might bear grudges.”
Cheney moved to Jackson Hole just last year. She has ‘deep pockets,’ but Wyoming may not see that as an asset.
Paul says that Enzi has probably met most of the state’s residents at one time or another during his tenure.
“Mike Enzi has probably been to every town in Wyoming. He’s the kind of guy who spends the time to get to know people in a town of 600 people, he’s been there,” Paul said. “And I think that’s going to be difficult for someone who’s new to the state to get to meet the same people with the same degree of personal relationship that he’s been able develop with the people in Wyoming.”
“I would say that I have heard nothing but support for Senator Enzi. I haven’t heard anyone say they’re considering not supporting him,” Paul said.
Cheney is the eldest daughter of former vice-president Dick Cheney. From 1979 to 1989, he was their sole Congressional representative. He was popular at the time, but his relationship with the failure of the George W. Bush administration may be demonstrated in the attempt of his daughter to unseat the incumbent Enzi.
The western states often resent ‘newcomers.’ Cheney may also face that label as she attempts to invade the club of popular incumbents.
It was somewhat of a surprise to see Paul side with an incumbent. His stated philosophy has always been to remove the old guard with new candidates, with a new philosophy. Paul says he will campaign for Enzi if need be, waging a political war between the incumbent, and a daughter of the old guard of the GOP in Liz Cheney.
Alfred James reporting