What was behind Liz Cheney's sudden, surprise exit from the Wyoming Senate race? Up until two days before Christmas, during her team's final conference call, Cheney seemed gung-ho about the campaign. But, considering the various troubles that have plagued the campaign, including a public family feud and other missteps, some Washington insiders suspected she pulled out because she knew her primary challenger, Mike Enzi, had the upper hand. But the many Cheney insiders interviewed by Politico insist the team was optimistic to the end, and that family health problems really were behind Cheney's decision to exit the race: As Politico describes it, the troubles involved "her youngest daughter’s juvenile diabetes and a more acute event involving one of her children at college."
Dad and former VP Dick Cheney was fully behind the decision, one insider says, noting that he was in "grandfather and father mode" despite his major involvement in the campaign. Other consultants and advisers also support the decision. As for any further official word from Cheney herself, backers say not to expect it. In fact, Politico reports, though Cheney has spoken to Enzi, she has yet to endorse him. "She’s got other things on her mind," Enzi says, adding that he's encouraging other senators to pray for the Cheney family. "This is critical enough that she pulled out of her race. So I’m not pressing for anything at this point." (Read more Liz Cheney stories.)