After months of political gaffes and family quarrels, Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, announced Monday that she has dropped out of the Senate primary, citing family health issues. Cheney, whose bid to run as a Republican for Wyoming's U.S. Senate was announced in a Youtube video six months ago, was hoping to unseat Republican Senator Mike Enzi in a primary election in August 2014. But her odds weren't looking good, and it seems she might have decided to just throw in the towel.
“Serious health issues have recently arisen in our family, and under the circumstances, I have decided to discontinue my campaign. My children and their futures were the motivation for our campaign and their health and well-being will always be my overriding priority,” Cheney said in a statement Monday.
Cheney, who once served in the State Department under President George W. Bush, took everyone by surprise last July when she announced her decision to jump into the race — for one thing, Enzi was a Senate veteran who'd been elected back in 1996. Over the years, he'd managed to accumulate a conservative voting record, and many of his Senate colleagues were quick to reaffirm their support for him after Cheney's bid. More importantly, though, she'd only moved from Virginia to Wyoming in 2012, so a lot of people quickly cried carpetbagger, questioning why she'd relocate and then almost immediately begin running against the senator.
Cheney's label as a carpetbagger became even more cemented in August, after reports revealed that, on her application for a fishing license, Cheney had claimed to be a 10-year resident of Wyoming. As awkward as that was, though, what really took the news world by storm was her (very public) rift with her sister, Mary Cheney. In November, Mary, an open lesbian who married her partner last year, wrote a Facebook post rebuking Liz's opposition to gay marriage, claiming that her sister had sung a very different tune before going on the campaign trail — the spat was ugly, and very quickly, mommy and daddy had to get involved, with Dick Cheney and his wife issuing a statement in defense of Liz.
The abrupt decision to leave the race is perhaps not such a shock, then. And those Cheneys could probably do with some family quality time, especially after what must have been a very awkward holiday season.