Sen. Michael Enzi is 23 years older than Liz Cheney, and voters in Wyoming likely will be reminded of that fact many times as the two head toward a primary election fight in 2014.
Ms. Cheney, 46, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, wasted little time in taking a veiled shot at Mr. Enzi's age after announcing her intentions to run for the U.S. Senate. On Wednesday, she was asked about claims that she'd promised Mr. Enzi that, if he ran, she wouldn't.
"Enzi is confused," Ms. Cheney said. "I called Sen. Enzi to tell him I was considering a run ... I did not tell Sen. Enzi I would not run if he did. I suppose he's just confused."
Many political observers are interpreting Ms. Cheney's comments as a subliminal message that she's young, energetic and full of new ideas, while Mr. Enzi is a gray-haired politician who's past his prime.
For his part, Mr. Enzi, 69, is shooting back.
"I'm absolutely not too old to be senator," he said Wednesday. "I'd say I'm actually in the median age for [the Senate]. I'm in really good health."
According to the Congressional Research Service, the average age of a U.S. senator is 62.
If Ms. Cheney were to beat Mr. Enzi in the primary and go on to win the general election — the winner of the primary is almost guaranteed to win the general election in heavily Republican Wyoming — she'd be among the youngest senators serving in the chamber.
At 46 years old, she'd join a dozen other senators younger than 50. The youngest is Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy, 39.
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