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Liz Cheney gains favor among conservatives

By A. James Memmott

September 29, 2009 at 10:49am

Increasingly, Liz Cheney is proving to be her father’s daughter, defending the former vice president’s stands on national security and other issues.

In the process, as The New York Times reported Monday, the 43-year-old Cheney has become a popular figure among conservatives and a possible political candidate herself.

Cheney, a lawyer and a former State Department official, told The Washington Times in June that running for office was something she “may very well do.”

Since then, she hasn’t elaborated on any plans she might have, but she has become a sought-after speaker at conservative gatherings.

She’s also a frequent guest on television news and talks shows where she forcibly defends her father’s record and attacks the Obama administration.

Her stances have drawn fire from the left, particularly after a July mini-debate with James Carville on “Larry King Live” in which she didn’t disavow the so-called birther movement that argues Obama is not a citizen of the United States.

The next day, Cheney clarified her statement somewhat by telling Politico’s Ben Smith, “I don’t have any question about Barack Obama’s right to be president of the United States.”

That said, she accused Obama of policies that “are dangerous policies for the nation.”

In arguing this, Cheney was in sync with her father, who has been openly critical of the current administration almost since it took office.

It’s apparent that Cheney has long advocated views that parallel her father’s.

Writing in Slate in January, Zac Frank reported that Liz Cheney’s 1988 senior thesis at Colorado College was entitled “Evolution of Presidential War Powers.”

It laid out many of the theories of a strong wartime presidency that the Bush/Cheney administration advocated after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

After graduating from college, Liz Cheney worked at the State Department, at the U.S. Agency for International Development and at Armitage Associates LLP.

She then went to the University of Chicago Law School. Following graduation, she joined the World Bank as an attorney.

Two years after her father was elected vice president in 2000, Cheney became a deputy assistant secretary of state in the Near Eastern bureau.

She left that position in 2004 to work on the Bush/Cheney re-election committee. In 2005, she returned to the State Department as the principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs.

In 2007, Cheney joined the Fred Thompson presidential campaign as co-chair. After Thompson dropped out, she signed on with the Mitt Romney campaign as the candidate’s senior foreign policy adviser.

Cheney is currently working with her father on his memoirs, which are scheduled for publication in 2011. The book will be published by Simon & Schuster’s Threshold Editions, where Mary Matalin, Carville’s wife and a longtime adviser to Dick Cheney, is editor-in-chief.

The mother of five children, Liz Cheney is married to Philip J. Perry, a partner in the Washington law firm of Latham & Watkins LLP.

Perry, too, was a member of the Bush/Cheney administration, serving in several positions, including as general counsel for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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