Obstacles Liz Cheney Had To Overcome To Get Where She Is

When it comes to talking about headline-making GOP members, Liz Cheney usually comes to mind. She's the daughter of a storied Republican, and politically conservative herself, but she was also ditched by her fellow GOP members over her taking a stand against Donald Trump — first by House Republicans, then again when she lost her re-election bid this past summer (via BBC News). The obstacles placed in Cheney's way by the GOP and their constituents resulted in the House member spending $58,000 on security during the first three months of 2022 alone (via The New York Times).

For a woman who's only been in office since 2017, Cheney certainly knows how to ruffle feathers on both sides of the aisle. But her success — and disdain from many — hasn't come without a price. As is the case for many women in politics and male-dominated industries, it doesn't matter who you go to bat for — you're still a woman navigating an old boys' club-type environment. But that's not the only thing that could have stood in the way of where Cheney is today had she not given her ambition 100%.

Her last name proved to be a hurdle

Liz Cheney is the daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney, who — along with former president George W. Bush — pushed political rhetoric that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, launching a war that would later be called a "mistake" by fellow GOP member John McCain (via Vox). Liz, unsurprisingly, was outspoken during the Bush Administration in support of the war as well as torture, specifically waterboarding, being used as an "interrogation technique." She then doubled down on the waterboarding topic again during a 2021 interview (via CBS).

It's hard to think of Liz without thinking of her father — and maybe a bunch of jokes about him accidentally shooting lawyer Harry Whittington during a quail hunt in 2006 (via Vanity Fair). It's also hard to think about her without recalling her tense relationship with sister Mary Cheney, as Liz declared herself anti-same sex marriage in 2013 despite Mary being gay. Granted, Liz eventually voted for the Respect of Marriage Act in 2022, but it's hard to forget the rift it caused between the sisters (via Congress.gov).  

Liz Cheney proved that persistence is key

As we learned in 2017 when Senator Mitch McConnell tried to shut down Senator Elizabeth Warren during Jeff Sessions's confirmation hearing, being a persistent woman is rarely appreciated in Washington, D.C. (via TIME). While Liz Cheney and Warren are worlds apart in their political beliefs, what they have in common is their persistence and strength of character — these aren't women who will shake in their boots when faced with a challenge.

It's Cheney's persistence to bring Donald Trump and his associates to justice for their part in the insurrection, as well as other damaging behavior, that has made Cheney such an enemy of her own party. Although she did vote for Trump in both presidential elections and voted against his first impeachment, after January 6, 2021 Cheney came out swinging as one of Trump's loudest GOP critics.

It's been this fierce opposition of Trump that led to her political undoing in her home state of Wyoming. But, to prove she won't be deterred, Cheney has just announced that she will campaign for Democrats ahead of November's midterm elections (via The Hill). Not only that, but she even stated, "If [Trump] is the nominee, I won't be a Republican" (via CBS News).