The more we watch the saga of Bob Beauprez, candidate for (Governor/Senate/Student Council?), the more we are reminded of this famous quote from actor Groucho Marx. The quote doesn't quite fit for Beauprez, necessarily, but is fairly spot-on if you attribute the saying to Colorado Republicans. Since his historic implosion as a candidate for Governor in 2006, Beauprez has floated his name as a potential candidate for Governor or Senate more often than some state legislators take a bath (we're kidding, we're kidding: we're sure most of you are bathing). The response Beauprez has received from Republican leaders in Colorado has been fairly consistent; a polite, 'maybe this is not your year' from some folks, while most just pretended they weren't home when Beauprez rang the doorbell.
But that was then. Now? Now, things are different…sort of. Now Republican leaders just pretend they're not home when any of their candidates for Governor or Senate come to call. And there's Beauprez, grinning like Jim Carrey's character from Dumb and Dumber, after being told by the woman of his dreams that he had a '1-in-a-million' chance of dating her: "So you're saying there's a chance…"
Fox 31's Eli Stokols has been on the Beauprez watch for months now, and then last Wednesday, Colorado Pols reported that Beauprez was close to entering the race for Governor. Then, on Thursday, Beauprez sent out a vague Tweet saying that he was 100% committed to trying to bring the 2016 Republican National Convention to Denver. The next day, Friday (Feb. 7), Beauprez was quoted extensively by Jody Hope Strogoff in The Colorado Statesman. He doesn't exactly sound like a guy who doesn't want to talk about running for Governor:
Asked whether he might bow out of his RNC role after the upcoming deadline, Beauprez said he has “the intention to stay.”
But Beauprez also acknowledged he’s cognizant of the upcoming caucuses to be held on March 4, and the earlier than usual election calendar that has the primary election on June 24. “It’s on my mind, sure,” he said, dashing speculation that he’s ruled out a race for governor in total.
“Are you 100 percent not running?” The Statesman queried.
“We’ll see,” Beauprez said.
“I’ll admit I’m curious, but [have] not made a decision,” Beauprez also said during the interview.
Look, it's no secret that Beauprez wants to run for something statewide, but after so many years of being politely brushed off, maybe now he's just taking his time to pretend to be talked into it. Republicans know that none of their current candidates can beat Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, and as much as they may still harbor some resentment over Beauprez's horrible, no-good 2006 campaign, he at least has the ability to self-fund a campaign — a big plus when the rest of the field is having a bit of trouble raising money. Will Beauprez ultimately make the jump and run for Governor (or still, perhaps, U.S. Senate)? It sure looks like it, but that's only part of the story.
The real story here is a Republican Party that is so divided and confused that someone like Beauprez, a shamed former candidate, can even contemplate running for Governor or Senate even though the General Election is less than 9 months away. Not only can he contemplate either race — he can actually give serious consideration into running for either office. When Udall first ran for the Senate against Republican Bob Schafer in 2008, both candidates had been raising serious cash and support for months. You'd have been out of your mind to even consider mounting a challenge to either candidate in Feb. 2008, when Schaffer was sitting on more than $1.5 million and Udall nearly $4 million, respectively. Of course, in those days, the Republican Party actually had some ability to talk bad candidates out of running in order to clear a Primary.
Whether Beauprez runs or not is almost a moot point. What matter is that he even could run. He's not the man they want. He's not the man they need. But he can't be any worse than what they've got now.