This article appeared in the August 17, 2022 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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What’s next for Liz Cheney?

David Stubbs/Reuters
U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney looks on as the Republican Party's Kate Mead speaks during Ms. Cheney's primary election night party in Jackson, Wyoming, Aug. 16, 2022.
Linda Feldmann
Washington Bureau Chief

Rep. Liz Cheney invoked Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and God in her concession speech Tuesday night. But it wasn’t a farewell. She was setting up her next act: to do whatever she can to prevent former President Donald Trump from staging a comeback.

Come January, the conservative Wyoming Republican will no longer be a member of Congress. Representative Cheney lost the primary big – 66% to 29% – to Trump pick Harriet Hageman, a stunning fall for a once-rising GOP star.

In the wee hours Wednesday, Ms. Cheney reorganized her election account, flush with $7 million, into a leadership political action committee called The Great Task – a phrase from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Will she run for president, either as a Republican or an independent? She’d be a super long shot, but could use a campaign to promote her anti-Trump message. If she doesn’t run, she can use that money in other ways to argue vociferously against Mr. Trump, should he run again.

Ms. Cheney’s defeat represents Mr. Trump’s last and biggest victory in his effort to rid the House of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach him after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot by his supporters at the Capitol. In all, four of the 10 lost in their primaries, two won, and four retired.

But even in the House, Ms. Cheney isn’t done with Mr. Trump. She’s the top Republican on the Jan. 6 committee, which will reconvene this fall with more hearings and a final report.

In Tuesday’s other primary state, Alaska, Trump-backed women aren’t faring as well. With counting still underway, Trump-endorsed Kelly Tshibaka slightly trails moderate GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Both will compete in the general election under the state’s new ranked-choice voting system. Alaska’s Trump-backed former governor, Sarah Palin – the GOP’s 2008 vice presidential nominee – is running second in both the special election and November race to fill the state’s only House seat.

Coincidentally, Senator Murkowski and Ms. Cheney are both the daughters of prominent Republicans. Ex-Vice President Dick Cheney, most notably, blasted Mr. Trump in a late campaign ad.

Ms. Cheney is very much her father’s daughter, former Wyoming GOP Rep. Barbara Cubin told me last year. And she knew Ms. Cheney wouldn’t change course.

“It doesn’t matter the cost,” Ms. Cubin said. “She’ll fall on her sword to be right.”

This article appeared in the August 17, 2022 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 08/17 edition
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