Romanoff Considers Suicide Switch?

UPDATE: Treasurer Cary Kennedy (mentioned in the story below) very smartly extricated herself from this discussion and endorsed John Hickenlooper a few minutes ago.

We can’t verify what KMGH-TV reported yesterday as a sidebar to coverage of John Hickenlooper’s gubernatorial campaign announcement, and then amended, but we think it deserves a brief mention:

Hickenlooper decided to run for governor on Sunday, and met with Romanoff Monday night, sources told 7NEWS. During the meeting Romanoff pressed for a Romanoff-Cary Kennedy ticket for governor and lieutenant governor. Kennedy is the state treasurer.

They met again Tuesday morning.

“He never tried to dissuade me from running,” Hickenlooper said. However, he refused to discuss the details of their conversation, saying they have been friends for a long time.

Hickenlooper decided to make the announcement Tuesday to pre-empt any announcement by Romanoff that he would enter the race for Colorado governor, sources said.

Apparently redacted from the original report (but not before being posted in a comment here):

Romanoff asked Hickenlooper not to run, but Hickenlooper adamantly stated he was running, according to sources.

We’ve heard more rumors today that Romanoff is considering leaving the Senate race and challenging Hickenlooper in a gubernatorial primary. Certainly he could make that hard-to-imagine midflight switch from a federal to a state race, but we have grave questions about how that would be received by voters, not to mention the practical problems of such a move–Romanoff was having trouble raising money for a Senate race with contribution limits significantly higher than those for Governor, and none of the money he has raised for Senate would be usable in a race for Governor. How many of those people who donated to his campaign for Senate would be interested in donating again to a campaign for Governor after seeing how poorly his campaign for Senate has been?

There’s the possibility Romanoff could get the Lt. Gov. nod, thus alleviating tensions, but that seems less likely with another male from Denver headlining the ticket.

Short of joining the ticket, to “step down” to the governor’s race from the Senate primary would be a frank admission that he couldn’t win where he was–and if he can’t beat Michael Bennet, arguably in a more vulnerable spot than Hickenlooper, how could he possibly expect to beat a sitting mayor of Denver with 80% approval ratings?

But beyond that, the optics of Romanoff making such a switch now would be absolutely horrible: it would reek of desperation, signaling that personal power–and career insecurity–really were the driving force behind all his agitation these last few months. Unfortunately the damage may be done at this point, any speculation about Romanoff switching races cannot help but weaken him in the race he’s nominally running in now.

For as critical as we have been of Romanoff’s quixotic nonstarter of a Senate campaign, we would be pained to see this get any worse for him than it already is in terms of future political viability–and that means he needs to stop the appearance of erratic “shopping” for his next office right now. There was a time back in the day, in 2005, before Bill Ritter (or even Hickenlooper, for that matter), when Romanoff could have had the same deference in a gubernatorial campaign from other contenders that Hickenlooper enjoys today. And Romanoff is still a pretty young guy–if he doesn’t flush his reputation reaching for things that lie just beyond his grasp this election cycle, which involves some swallowing of pride and realism, he could be back to triumph another day.

Or, maybe Romanoff will become a punchline: this decision could be the crucible.


63 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808 says:

    Everything has played out horrible for Romanoff. Not just once, but time after time. He’s been jinxed for the last 2 years. It’s too bad because he’s a very talented guy. He would be a great asset in any position. But sometimes it just won’t work.

    I’m hoping he sticks with the Senate race to bloody Bennet’s nose and give him some experience in how to campaign. And then I’m guessing he can get a really good job in the private sector which will give him more experience and a place to wait for the next chance.

  2. Raphael says:

    and my sig line becomes prophecy, do I get a cookie or something?

  3. Ambassador says:

    maybe he should declare he will run for CD1

  4. SheepskinStrutt says:

    Perhaps Romanoff has decided that if he can’t bloody Bennett’s nose, he might as well bloody Hick’s. Even with most of the legislature backing him, that doesn’t translate into supplanting a popular mayor.

    Don’t get me wrong; I’d love a drawn-out primary for multiple reasons, but for Romanoff’s sake, he needs to realize it’s just not his year.  

  5. Voyageur says:

    Hickenlooper.  AR is an intelligent person and won’t do it, period.  I also agree that Hickenlooper doesn’t need another white guy from Denver on the ticket.  If he really doesn’t want to proceed with the Bennet challenge, which I have supported him in, here’s my advice: Take the bar exam review course, pass the bar, and use that energy and contact list.  We’d hire him at our law office.  

  6. davebarnes says:

    Andrew is beginning to look like a guy playing musical chairs while everyone else is sitting down (in those chairs).

    He needs to take a break.

  7. WesternSlopeThought says:

    he better start getting his campaign staff on the same page.  Just got through talking with one and it was my impression that he is staying with the senate run.  This heterochromia needs to stop immediately!

    “When I was a little kid, I thought it would be really neat to live in a cartoon.”  Rick Wagner

  8. Ah Choo says:

    Isn’t this the part where the “campaign manager” pops up and saves the day?

  9. denver politico says:

    On CBS on Saturday.

    Surprised no one mentioned that until now…

  10. MADCO says:

    “…optics of Romanoff making such a switch now would be absolutely horrible…. Unfortunately the damage may be done at this point, any speculation about Romanoff switching races…”

    I  think  the Post had it too

    Meanwhile, former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet in the Democratic primary, has talked to lawmakers about jumping to the governor’s race should Hickenlooper not run.

    And that’s what I think happened.

    I think Speaker Romanoff contacted several elected and other D leaders to asssess whether he could or should switch. I would have if it was me.

    I think he decided to do it and was ready to announce, but  also knew it would be crazy to do it in a contested primary.

    Rep. Pace said he and Romanoff agreed that Democrats need to avoid a primary.

    It’s no mystery. Truthfully, I would have questioned if he didn’t evaluate this door.

    I like Andrew.

    I think he will be good to great wherever he ends up, whatever he does. Even if goes to Voyageur’s law firm.

    Though for all the reasons I’ve posted elsewhere I support Senator Bennet.

    • Jambalaya says:

      I’m called, at last, to express grown-up feelings.  Being big hearted, as well as an old softie (but not old), I take this opportnity to agree with you and to say this:

      Andrew R. got screwed over the past 2 years.  In fact, many did (it’s not been a great past 2 years).  I feel bad for him because I believe he’s smart and on the right side of things that matter to me, for the most part.  I can’t ask for more, if I’m honest.  

      But he’s made some bad decisions lately, as people happen to do.  

      But this is very important:  I am willing to forgive and forget if he gracefully exits the race(s) now and supports his fellow Dems.  My memory is short and shallow.  I will support him in the future because (see above) he’s smart and on the right side of things, for the most part.

      Andrew, can you hear me?

  11. Ambassador says:

    With his hair trimmed and mustache shaved off, Scott McInnis, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, unveiled the first stage of his plan for economic recovery at a speech in Colorado Springs on Wednesday morning.

    McInnis, 56, promised to bring more military-related and energy industries to Colorado. And, like Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, who announced on Tuesday that he will seek the Democratic nomination for governor, McInnis said he will focus on creating high-paying jobs to keep families and the economy afloat.

    “It all starts with jobs,” McInnis told about 50 supporters and Republican politicians at a breakfast meeting at The Broadmoor hotel.

    Problem: McInnis’ campaign didn’t produce a hard copy of his “plan for economic recovery” according to several sources in Colorado Springs who were in attendance.  The only thing  produced were a white board and easel.

    Hopefully, someone can press harder for an actual copy of his “plan for economic recovery.”

    If you read the article from the Gazette, it is the same speech as reported by other newspapers since McInnis entered the race. Nothing new.

  12. Ralphie says:

    For reasons of his own inaction or his own ego, then he’s a political dead man.

    To quote a popular TV commercial, “I guarantee it.”

  13. oldbenkenobi says:

    …though that seems to be a favorite sport at ColoPols, remember that nobody knows what was said by who.  The various “sources” could be lying or cooking up rumors to support their pet agendas.  AR has a right to explore his options, just as Hick has a right to explore his.  And it’s not a bad thing for the state’s top Dems to communicate with each other.

    The Norton candidacy looks like a complete disaster.  That supports the idea that a U.S. Senate Dem primary is both necessary and beneficial, not the nightmare scenario that you kneejerk Bennet supporters have claimed it to be.

    • MADCO says:

      I’ve been saying for weeks that primaries are a good thing and we should have more of them.

      True, I would like the DSCC to have a more involved presence here. But patience, patience. they did a nice job with the Norton video thing.

    • DavidThi808 says:

      What is it about statewide GOP candidates where they self-destruct? I’m all in favor of it, but it’s so weird that they keep insuring that they have no chance.

      The one thing we need to hope for is she beats Buck in the primary because I don’t think he would self-destruct in the general.

      • Laughing Boy says:

        Because you were just about to vote for her.

      • MADCO says:

        Don’t go giving away the recipe or they’ll be baking their own cookies.

        I actually think she’s winning at the moment.

        As I said before, if Wiens shows real money in the 4Q, he’s real.  I know DT you think he’s not ready for the big stage.  We’ll know about the money in a few days, and if he’s got it then we’ll know the other in a few weeks.

        I don’ think she gets my vote, but there will be plenty of re-energized R’s and swing U’s who think a D Senate majority is a bad thing with a D president.  

    • JO says:

      Nah, ya think? Make up something to cast Romanoff in a bad light? On this site? On Fuggedaboutit, Old Benny!

      I mean, they’ve got sources! Six people, maybe more, in a motel room right now (exactly where they can’t say for security reasons), each one of them ready to swear on a stack of Bibles, Korans, Books of Mormon, back copies of 5280 magazine, whatever, that everything you read on this site that hurts Andrew Romanoff is absolutely, one hundred ten percent, true! It’d be on videotape except that they ran out of tape and couldn’t find a store open on Sunday.

      • RedGreen says:

        If it’s not Pols, it’s Channel 7. And if it’s not that station, it’s another. And if it’s not the TV news, it’s the Denver Post. And if it’s not in print, it was on the lips of just about everyone at opening day at the Capitol today! Why, it’s the most widespread conspiracy I’ve ever seen! Those bastards!

      • peacemonger says:

        others have either.  We all respect him. What we don’t respect is that he is trying to ruin the chances of an excellent DEMOCRATIC US Senator who can actually win this state for us, and keep our hard-fought numbers in the US Senate.  

        I have always respected and admired Andrew. I told friends in Denver many times they should vote for him for State House. He was amazing as Speaker. Still, he is no match to an experienced US Senator who consistently votes the way we want him to, and has a FANTASTIC ability to win over bi-partison support, votes, and CASH.  

        Michael Bennet is the answer to a Democratic victory in the Senate in 2010. I am just sorry Andrew’s friends and supportes can’t see the bigger picture.

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