After anti-Trump Republican Rep. Liz Cheney lost the Wyoming primary election this week to populist candidate Harriet Hageman, a concession speech could have indicated the outgoing Republican legislator’s intention to run for president in 2024.
Cheney, the daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney and previously the Chair of the House Republican Conference, fought bitterly to maintain her seat in Congress but ultimately lose to a pro-Trump candidate over her decision to vote for impeachment and her position on the controversial House January 6 Committee.
Rumors have circulated for some time that Cheney may have been purposely positioning herself as a Republican alternative to Trump in the 2024 presidential primary, and while Cheney has made no official announcement, her concession speech on Tuesday could indicate that she is taking the idea seriously.
Cheney also told Savannah Guthrie during an interview on “TODAY” on Wednesday that a 2024 run is something she is “thinking about.”
What Did Liz Cheney Say?
Liz Cheney used her concession speech to reaffirm her commitment to fighting former President Donald Trump and his America First agenda, and insisted that her loss was just the beginning of her “real work.”
“Tonight, Harriet Hageman has received the most votes in this primary. She won. I called her to concede the race. This primary election is over. But now, the real work begins,” Cheney said.
The outgoing legislator reiterated her disagreement with the former president over evidence of widespread election fraud in the 2020 presidential election and said that her seat in Congress was not more important than the principles she swore to protect.
Most notably, however, Liz Cheney invoked the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. While the Wyoming congresswoman faced criticism for comparing herself with the historic figure, her comments seemed to reveal a hidden message; that losing an election doesn’t stop someone from being elected to the highest office in the land.
“Abraham Lincoln was defeated in elections for the Senate and the House before he won the most important election of all,” Cheney said. “Lincoln ultimately prevailed. He saved our union and he defined our obligation as Americans for all of history. Speaking at Gettysburg of the great task remaining before us, Lincoln said, ‘That we were highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and a government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from this earth.’”
The implication was clear; Cheney, if she wants, can run for president in 2024 and win. Whether she’s right or not is yet to be seen, but without some dramatic series of events that turn the vast majority of Republican voters against former President Donald Trump, the chances of a Cheney victory in the GOP presidential primary race appear extraordinarily slim.
What the DC Experts Think on Liz Cheney?
But who’s to say Cheney won’t run as a Democrat? In fact, a Senior GOP pollster explained to 19FortyFive that they thought that was highly likely at this point. “If populist Donald Trump can run and take over the GOP and bring in ideas that aren’t exactly Conservative why isn’t there room for Cheney in the Democrat Party? While I am not sure she runs for President in 2024 as a Democrat, a year ago I would never even thought of the idea as remotely possible. And that alone says a lot.”
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.