The problem with running for office in the digital age is it is hard to run from your past.
Videos are now commonplace and what you said a few years ago may come back to haunt you, even if you may disagree with that viewpoint now.
That’s the situation Wyoming congressional candidate Harriet Hageman finds herself in.
CNN found a video from 2016 during Liz Cheney’s inaugural congressional campaign in which Hageman lavished praise on the woman she will presumably challenge next year for the GOP nomination to Wyoming’s lone U.S. House seat.
The contents of the video won’t be a surprise to observers of Wyoming politics. Cheney was the frontrunner throughout the 2016 primary and had many, many conservative supporters, including Hageman.
“I know that Liz Cheney is a proven, courageous, constitutional conservative, someone who has the education, the background and experience to fight effectively for Wyoming on a national stage,” Hageman said in the video.
In contrast, when announcing her House candidacy in September, Hageman said Cheney has betrayed the voters of Wyoming because of her vote for Trump’s impeachment.
“Like many Wyomingites, I supported Liz Cheney when she ran for Congress,” Hageman said in September. “But then she betrayed Wyoming, she betrayed this country, and she betrayed me.”
Hageman was also on the record as opposing the Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016, calling him “racist and xenophobic.” Like her stance on Cheney, however, her opinion of Trump changed, she said, adding she was fooled into opposing the president in 2016.
“The fact is, I heard and believed the lies the Democrats and Liz Cheney’s friends in the media were telling at the time, but that is ancient history as I quickly realized their allegations against President Trump were untrue. They lied about him before he was elected and continue to lie about him to this day,” Hageman said.
Hageman now calls him the “greatest president” of her lifetime.
“I am proud to have been able to re-nominate him in 2020,” she said. “And I’m proud to strongly support him today. Our country would be in a better place with him still in office.”
The Cheney team was quick to send the CNN story and video out to the media on Friday morning.
Yet to be seen is how the other candidates in the race plan to use it.
Anthony Bouchard, a state senator from Cheyenne, is now targeting both Cheney and Hageman on his very active Facebook page and is using social media to play up the former friendship of Hageman and Cheney and lump them together as the same person.
“Wyoming needs an America First Champion to replace Liz.. Not a Cheney 2.0… Send me to Congress, I’ll fight the Socialists!” a post on his Facebook page said.
Denton Knapp, a war veteran from Gillette, also called out what he sees as the similarities between the two.
“Cheney and Hageman are not the only two Republican choices. They both fought against former President Trump in 2016. I supported his candidacy in 2016, and 2020,” Knapp wrote.