Rep. Liz Cheney teased a presidential run after her defeat in the House primary election in Wyoming on Tuesday night.
Of course, the natural question that arises is how a candidate who lost by 37 percent, the second-highest margin for an incumbent in the last 60 years, according to CNN, can think she has the stuff to take the show on the road nationally and win.
The likely answer is that she wants to play the spoiler if former President Donald Trump should run in 2024.
She all but said as much in her concession speech.
“We must be very clear-eyed about the threat we face and about what is required to defeat it. I have said since Jan. 6 that I will do whatever it takes to ensure Donald Trump is never again anywhere near the Oval Office,” Cheney said.
.@RepLizCheney: “I have said since Jan. 6 that I will do whatever it takes to ensure Donald Trump is never again anywhere near the oval office, and I mean it.” https://t.co/9W0OGSqInR pic.twitter.com/J58U4drprv
— The Hill (@thehill) August 18, 2022
Asked Wednesday if she would run for president, she told NBC News, “It is something that I’m thinking about.”
“I think that defeating [Trump] is going to require a broad and united front of Republicans, Democrats and independents, and that’s what I intend to be part of,” Cheney added.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the lawmaker has already launched a political action committee called “The Great Task” — a phrase from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address — which she will fund initially with millions left over from her House campaign.
Her appeal among Republicans nationwide seems even less than it is in Wyoming, given her work on the Democrat-led Jan. 6 committee, where she has insulted not only Trump but any who had doubts about the integrity of the 2020 election.
PolitiFact reported in June that about 70 percent of Republicans in multiple polls since the 2020 race have said that they do.
So what’s Cheney’s play?
One option could be to run as an independent in the 2024 election and hopefully siphon off enough votes to keep Trump out of the White House, as she desperately desires to do.
In other words, she may want to be the Ross Perot of the ’24 contest.
Cheney lacks the charisma, populist appeal and financial resources that Perot brought to the 1992 presidential race, but she would not have to do as well to accomplish her goal. Perot won 19 percent of the vote to sway the election in favor of Democrat Bill Clinton over incumbent President George H.W. Bush.
Apart from running as an independent, another option could be that Cheney wants to be on the primary debate stage with Trump to goad him in hopes of hurting him politically.
And if neither of the above two options work out, she may just use her PAC and status as a media darling to lob salvos at Trump throughout the presidential race in a Lincoln Project kind of way.
Trump celebrated Cheney’s defeat Tuesday on Truth Social, writing, “Now she can finally disappear into the depths of political oblivion where, I am sure, she will be much happier than she is right now.”
Amen. Here’s hoping the fade to political obscurity comes true.