Or not, as the Denver Post’s Allison Sherry reports:
The leading contenders for Colorado’s Republican U.S. Senate nomination traded shots Monday regarding the timing of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s upcoming visit.
Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck said he thought it would be “rude” for Palin to steal the limelight from the state Republican assembly by endorsing former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton on Saturday night, as has been rumored she will do.
Palin’s appearance at Magness Arena in Denver will come hours after the state GOP assembly wraps up in Loveland – where Buck likely will overwhelmingly capture the party nomination and get his name on the August primary ballot…
In a release Monday, Norton’s campaign said Buck was criticizing “one of the heroes of the conservative cause.”
The statement, released by spokeswoman Cinamon Watson, likened the GOP assembly to a back-room deal. “Buck is proving to be the ultimate good ol’ boy – trying to keep the ‘back room’ all to himself. As far as we’re concerned, Sarah Palin is welcome in Colorado any time, any place,” Watson said.
Jane Norton’s campaign is paddling upstream trying to undermine Ken Buck as “the ultimate good ol’ boy,” especially with anybody who has read the biographies of Norton’s immediate family. That’s the easy counter here, but there’s a larger problem we see on the horizon: is Sarah Palin sacrificing her “Tea Party” rogue street cred by endorsing another party establishment choice like Norton–as she is fully expected to do this weekend in a grade-school transparent attempt to steal Ken Buck’s state convention fire?
It’s not the only endorsement that Palin is facing questions from her grassroots supporters about. Just over a week ago, Palin endorsed a similar “establishment” candidate in California’s Senate race, Carly Fiorina, over a candidate favored by the conservative base–that on the heels of her endorsement of former running mate John McCain in his Senate primary against a conservative challenger. Both of these endorsements, as Buck’s campaign surely hopes is repeated with Palin’s impending endorsement of Norton, have provoked the most severe criticism of Palin from her right that she’s ever received. And since the “Tea Party” crowd may be the only corner of America where Palin’s favorability ratings aren’t hopelessly underwater, stepping into this primary on the wrong side might seriously backfire–for Palin’s career aspirations and Norton’s.
Or, forgive the George Orwell gratuity, perhaps the sheep will start bleating a different tune?
UPDATE: More thoughts on this subject here.