The Cheney ’24 Big Lie

liz cheney
Liz Cheney says she is dedicated to doing “whatever it takes” to prevent Donald Trump from returning to the White House. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Getty Image
Tina Nguyen
September 7, 2022

Within hours of her spectacular, entirely predictable primary election loss, Liz Cheney, the single-issue, soon-to-be-unemployed anti-Trump Republican congresswoman from Wyoming, set about putting her next career arc into play. Overnight, she formed a political action committee called The Great Task, filed to transfer some $7 million of leftover campaign funding into the new endeavor, and lined up a morning interview on the Today show to tease what that “great task” will entail: doing “whatever it takes” to prevent Trump from returning to the White House, even if it means running for president, herself. “It is something that I am thinking about, and I’ll make a decision in the coming months,” she said.

Of course, as both her detractors and supporters readily admit, it’s hard to envision how Cheney—a hardline conservative who cheered the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe, but also led the Jan. 6 hearings targeting Trump—would ever have the electoral support to be more than a nuisance candidate, or even a spoiler. And even crazier to imagine that the daughter of Dick Cheney would truly ever be embraced by the left for more than a fleeting moment. “She’s not going to get Democrat support,” predicted one MAGA political consultant. “She’s in no-man’s land because she has no political identity: She’s too conservative for the left and she’s too liberal for the right… She has no political home, and she has no elected political future.”

But that’s not entirely true. Cheney does have a political identity, albeit an unpopular one, and while she has few ideological compatriots these days—Reps. Adam Kinzinger, Jaime Herrera-Beutler, Peter Meijer, and Tom Rice are all leaving Congress—she also has a number of powerful, deep-pocketed allies, including the Koch Network, the LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, and Citigroup C.E.O. Jane Fraser. Pro-Israel groups also love her.  But even would-be supporters are skeptical that she would succeed in mounting any kind of sustained opposition to Trump. Indeed, recent reporting suggests that Cheney would be razed in the primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.