Ms. Cheney, 46, is showing up everywhere in the state, from chicken dinners to cattle growers’ meetings, sometimes with her parents in tow. She has made it clear that she wants to run for the Senate seat now held by Michael B. Enzi, a soft-spoken Republican and onetime fly-fishing partner of her father.
But Ms. Cheney’s move threatens to start a civil war within the state’s Republican establishment, despite the reverence many hold for her family.
Mr. Enzi, 69, says he is not ready to retire, and many Republicans say he has done nothing to deserve being turned out.
It would bring about “the destruction of the Republican Party of Wyoming if she decides to run and he runs, too,” Alan K. Simpson, a former Republican senator from the state, said in an interview last week. “It’s a disaster — a divisive, ugly situation — and all it does is open the door for the Democrats for 20 years.”
This morning, during an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Republican Senator and rising party star Kelly Ayotte (NH) cited Iranian propaganda in explaining her opposition to President Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense.
“I have not made up my mind,” Ayotte began, before warning that Hagel has not expressed sufficient commitment to using military force against Iran if it develops nuclear weapons. She then pointed to Iranian propaganda, noting that the country “reacted favorably” to his nomination:
AYOTTE: Iran, this week, kind of reacted favorably somewhat. There were statements that were favorable to his nomination, in fact, they said they were hopeful that with his nomination, they hoped that we would change our policies. What I want to make sure is that Iran is actually not hopeful, but they are fearful as a result of our nominee from a Secretary of Defense perspective, because I think that will cause them to stop marching toward acquiring a nuclear weapon, not hope that we’ll change our policies, they need to change their policies.
On Tuesday, the Iranians responded to the Hagel nomination and used it to take a backhanded slap at the United States, saying, “We hope there will be practical changes in American foreign policy and that Washington becomes respectful of the rights of nations.” Unfortunately, neo-conservatives — desperate to derail Hagel — jumped on the propaganda from Iran’s foreign ministry to make their case.