Photo by Julie Abo

Liz Cheney, a standing ovation, and a viral tweet

The returns are in, and as predicted, Rep. Liz Cheney was defeated in her Wyoming primary for standing up for the Constitution, democracy and the rule of law. But those are the values we share Liz Cheney arrivalwith her in light of the wartime incarceration, so for one brief, shining moment last month Liz Cheney was able to bask in a spontaneuous show of support from those of us attending the 2022 Heart Mountain Pilgrimage.

Dick Cheeny with armed securityShe came to turn a spade of dirt for the groundbreaking of the Mineta-Simpson Instiute. Security was tight. I counted three armed security warily watching us as we jockeyed for position under the tent outside the Interpretive Center to snap photos. I made sure to keep my hands visible at all times. I did not immediately recognize former vice-president Dick Cheney had accompanied his daughter to the event. He did not speak, and when recognized, the applause for him was polite but restrained. As one noted filmmaker muttered to me as we ate, “Who’s going to ask him about the Iraq war and Halliburton?” Then Liz Cheney was introduced, and suddenly 300 pilgrims spontaneously rose to their feet:

ovation for Liz Cheney
The crowd of 300 at the groundbreaking for the Mineta-Simpson Institute sponteneously stands and applauds Liz Cheney on July 30, 2022. Photo by Julie Abo.

The tweet picked up steam with a thousand likes and retweets combined. After six years of doomscrolling on my phone, I’d been idly wondering what it would take and how it would feel to have a tweet go viral. And then I saw what was happening here: this was a legitimate news story: the first grassroots show of support for an elected official under attack from her own party and constituency for standing up to the insurrection and co-chairing the House Select Commitee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. And no national news media was there. The Cody Enterprise focused on the groundbreaking, but Leo Wolfson of the Cowboy State Daily also understood the moment and led with it.

I figured that was that. Then Liz Cheney quoted my tweet:

With her amplification it blew up, with a combined 6,000 shares from my account and  9,000 from hers, as of today. And the national media picked it up, with this article in People Magazine, “Rep. Liz Cheney Brought to Tears by Standing Ovation at Wyoming Event (,” fact-checking and republishing my tweet.People Magazine article People Magazine articleKenji Taguma at the Nichi Bei Weekly asked for the best photo to add to the next issue of the Nichi Bei Weekly: And the tweet evidently provided the material for this lead in Monday’s New York Times. The reporter wasn’t there on July 30, so he could only have seen the tweet or coverage of it in People:

In Wyoming, Likely End of Cheney Dynasty Will Close a Political EraNY Times article

If  there is video of Rep. Cheney’s remarks, we’ll update it here. Liz Cheney’s defeat tonight is a defeat for America. But the hearings of the #J6Committee will resume in September, and those of us there in Wyoming were all part of her story.

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