Skip to comments.Who is Mike Enzi? (Politico begins it's protect the more moderate candidate campaign)
Posted on 07/17/2013 1:05:51 PM PDT by cotton1706
Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) has kept one of the lowest profiles of any U.S. senator, rarely seen on cable news shows or quoted in media coverage.
Thats about to change, in a big way, after Liz Cheneys announcement Tuesday that shes challenging him next year in a GOP primary that promises to be one of the most talked about of the election cycle.
Enzi, a three-term senator, expressed disappointment and feelings of betrayal over Cheneys move. I thought we were friends, he said.
Cheney, 46, has highlighted her youth as a potential advantage against Enzi. However, Enzi, 69, has maintained that age should not be a factor in the race. Im absolutely not too old to be a senator, he told CNNs Dana Bash on Wednesday. Id say that Im kind of in the median age for the Senate.
Here are five things to know about Enzi:
Hitting the ground running
Soon after receiving his masters in retail marketing, Enzi returned to his home state to go into the footwear business. He was the owner of NZ Shoes, a company that got its start in Gillette, Wyoming. According to Enzi, this experience in the shoe business prepared him well for the political stage.
Legislation is like selling shoes, Enzi said in 2012. You have to know your market, what they want and whos willing to buy what youre offering.
(Also on POLITICO: Sen. Mike Enzi: I'm not too old)
As a young boy growing up in Wyoming, Enzi became an Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable within the Boy Scouts program. He was later named a Distinguished Eagle Scout. According to his biography, Enzi considers himself a dedicated hunter, fly fisherman and bicyclist, and even built a canoe once.
Enzis political career began nearly four decades ago, when he was elected mayor of Gillette. He later served in the Wyoming state legislature as a representative and then a senator. During this time, former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) served as a mentor to Enzi, who eventually succeeded Simpson in the U.S. Senate. Simpson recently said that Cheneys entrance into the 2014 race would cause destruction of the Republican Party of Wyoming.
Legacy of conservatism
Enzi, who voted against the Senates immigration bill as well as expanded background check legislation, was ranked the 8th most conservative senator in 2012 by National Journal. Although he was a member of the Gang of Six, a group that worked towards bipartisan health care reform, he ultimately voted against the Affordable Care Act. Enzi has been popular in Wyoming throughout his tenure, winning the past two general elections with over 70 percent of the vote.
The Wyoming senator made waves early in his career, but not necessary for his political views. Just months after taking office in 1997, Enzi requested to bring his laptop to the Senate floor, something forbidden in the chamber. The Senate Rules and Administration Committee denied Enzis request, preferring to stick to tradition. Former Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), then chairman of the committee, explained, Theres a mystique about the Senate floor that does not lend itself to bringing in a laptop.
Why, I should be able to keep this seat till I decide to leave or am defeated by a democrat. This is the natural order of things!
If Enzi is the median age, the most in the Senate are too damned old.
Cheney would be the media favorite and anybody with half a brain knows it.
Let’s ask her some questions about border control and gay marriage. LOL
Ronald Reagan was Enzi's age when he was sworn in for his first term as president.
if i were in wy, i’d be taking this as a golden opportunity to run a true conservative against these two.
golden opportunity for a primary plurality win.
“If this is the thought process of most politicians, then there is no doubt why we are in the mess that we are in.”
Yup. And after a while, it’s time for new shoes!
The betrayal wasn’t that she ran. It is that she said that if he was going to run, she would not run. And then he ran, and she changed her mind and is running.
If she had said “I’m going to run whether you want to run or not”, then there would be no “betrayal”. And maybe he would not have run, although I presume he would have anyway.
As to “more moderate”, Enzi has an excellent ACU rating. What is Liz Cheney’s rating? None, because she has never really had to take positions on anything.
The biggest current complaint about Enzi is his support for the law to allow states to collect their sales tax from large companies that are out-of-state that sell things into a state (sometimes misnamed the “internet tax”). But we don’t even know if Liz Cheney opposes THAT yet.
We also don’t know if Liz Cheney supports or opposes DOMA, what her position is on abortion, or the details of her position on the immigration laws being debated.
Her position on these issues could all be excellent. But until we have actual statements in writing on them, it’s hard to claim that Enzi is the “more moderate”. He just has a long paper trail.
There are arguments to be made for switching senators, but until we have solid evidence, it’s not that Liz Cheney is more conservative than Mike Enzi.
And given that Liz has never held office, she does hold the strong possibility that she will succumb to power, like so many do, and veer far off to the “moderate” side. Enzi has been there 18 years. He is unlikely to make a sudden shift left.
Yeah, I love Liz to death, but it seems she let the horse out of the barn on this one.
ACU ratings are bull!
Enzi’s Club for groth ratings for the last four years have been 99% then 86% then 86% now 71%. Quite the trend, huh?? And his Heritage Action rating is 67%.
Wyoming can do better! Cheney’s views will come out in the primary. Enzi shouldn’t get a free ride just because he’s already in the seat. That’s how we get Jim Jeffords’ betrayal in 2000. And Arlen Specter’s betrayal. And John McCain.
Why didn't Enzi become Ted Cruz 17 years earlier?
After all WY should make for a secure seat.
If you dont live in Wyoming, odds are, you have never heard of Senator Mike Enzi. Even by the standards of the Senate he is pretty low key. He doesnt show up on talk shows and does not engage in the flamboyant grandstanding that some members of the Senate do.
Liz Cheney is going to primary Mike Enzi in Wyoming.
Liz Cheney is the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney. In the last few years she has been establishing herself as a conservative figure outside the shadow of her father.
What about Enzi?
While he has a generally right of center record, he has been a notable champion for more taxes. Specifically he has been working with Dick Durban the Illinois Senator from the Party of Treason to impose an Internet sales tax.
Supporting the Internet sales tax (The so-called Market Place Fairness Act) is enough to deserve being primaried.
The most interesting reaction to the idea that Liz Cheney would primary Mike Enzi comes from the Republican Establishment and that alone means she should do it.
Former Wyoming Senator and king of the sell-out Republicans Alan Simpson said a Cheney primary run against Enzi would be the destruction of the Republican Party of Wyoming if she decides to run and he runs, too. Simpson also said, Its a disaster a divisive, ugly situation and all it does is open the door for the Democrats for 20 years.
The Establishment whined that Enzi had done nothing to be turned out.
The Constitution provides Senators with six-year terms, not terms for life or until they do something worthy of being put out.
The fact that the Establishment is circling the wagons to support Enzi and that he is now getting fawning stories about him in the New York Times is reason enough that conservatives should primary him.
Enzi does not want to retire. That is his choice. He can and should run as long as he likes. But the one thing he should learn as should everyone elected to office, the office is not theirs. It belongs to the people. Incumbents should be primaried early and often. America is not the old Soviet Union or China where only one candidate is offered and he or she serves until the Establishment gets tired of them.
One of the most dangerous threats to our liberty is when elected officials develop the sense of entitlement. They believe they are entitled to their jobs and they are entitled to be our public masters instead of our public servants.
We expect that in the Democrats. We expect better from the Republicans.
For conservatives, in 2014, our motto should be primary early, primary often and primary effectively!
I don’t oppose primaries, or think anybody should get a free ride. I was objection to the headline suggesting that Enzi was more moderate than Cheney, as it does not have a factual basis at this time. I would LOVE to have Enzi as my senator.
Heck, without even knowing anything about her, I’d love to have Liz Cheney as my senator. And she could have been, since she lived in my state for a long time before moving back to Wyoming to set up this race. I’d rather see us spending money to get her elected in place of one of my democratic senators, than fighting Enzi.
1. The scenario that she said she would run only if he didn't is coming from Enzi. We don't know if that is true or not. The MSM will do anything to drum up discord in the GOP..compare it to what they said when Corey Booker pre-emptively announced against Lautenberg , even before Frank had the chance to announce his retirement.
2. Cheney should announce now that she's taking a two-term pledge. That would help her make the case that people just stay too long in DC..it's time for new, fresh blood.
3. There is a danger in giving old bull GOP senators one last term..once they know they'll never have to face the voters again..they tend to stray off the reservation. Look at McCain, look at Hatch..to cite the most obvious ones..
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