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December 03, 2011 02:16 AM UTC

Chasing Andrew

  • by: Colorado Pols

Corroborated with our own sources, this bit of gossip posted today by the Colorado Statesman appears to be entirely accurate as of this writing:

[F]rom deep (arctic deep) in the Andrew Romanoff camp we’re able to report that the former U.S. Senate hopeful and speaker of the Colorado House is still undecided about getting into the 2012 race in the new 6th Congressional District. But he’s home now from visiting his Dad in Ohio and is besieged by many people who are encouraging him to get in it already. Thinking seems to be that Romanoff could wallop current Dem candidate Joe Miklosi – or more likely, force him out of a primary – but the real challenge remains incumbent Republican Mike Coffman…[t]hen again, if the court approves the current maps, the new CD 6 is a heck of a lot friendlier to Dems than ever before. Andrew is supposedly crunching numbers… And although this didn’t come from Andrew, we know he’s being pressured by some big names to jump into the fray. They’ve promised that money will follow… [Pols emphasis]

Sources tell us it’s 50-50 as to whether he’ll get in the race, and no announcement one way or the other has been scheduled to date. Look for a statement or some clue from Andrew around mid-December, and if he does decide to do it (emphasis on if), a campaign kick-off after the first of the year.

What we’ve heard is that mid-December, or more to the point as soon as the new congressional district map is finalized, is pretty much the deadline for Andrew Romanoff to make a decision about throwing his hat into the CD-6 race. Sources tell us some of the “big names” encouraging Romanoff to get in would really like to see him declare before the new map is finalized–among other things, it would be a demonstration of commitment to refute charges of opportunism.

The fact remains that Romanoff is broadly considered to be the best candidate available, and the decision to get in this race is his to make: for the time being. If the timetable hypothesized by the Statesman above proves accurate, he’s probably in time to own the nomination. As we said before, though, Romanoff’s time to decide is not unlimited, and his long record of overcautiousness works against him. If he is not sending strong signals very soon, certainly no later than the immediate aftermath of a finalized map, there’s a major risk of him missing the window to effectively compete–just like he did against Sen. Michael Bennet.

And we’ll say this: it’s very difficult to envision a better opportunity to resurrect Romanoff’s stymied political career than to take on the newly-vulnerable Coffman. If he passes it by, or squanders his momentum with too much contemplation, we wonder when, or if


50 thoughts on “Chasing Andrew

    1. Except now it would be against a guy who’s lined up the entire State House Dem caucus behind him. You think that was an accident, and the caucus didn’t know who the audience for that was? So the circle of people willing to go back in the bunker with Andrew is getting smaller and smaller.

      Even if Romanoff got in, I think Joe Miklosi would kick his ass.

      Let Andrew walk away from the Ken Gordon pledge. And if he doesn’t, he screws himself on resources once again. And if he tries to campaign on the same crap–well, I’m sure the Bennet campaign’s research on Andrew’s PAC is still filed away somewhere. Damned either way.

      Joe’s already got the AFL-CIO support anyway, and in Dem primary PAC $, that endorsement means everything. No way they walk away from their guy, when the announcement was obviously timed as a message to Andrew.

      Wade Norris’s bloviation about the DCCC is a pipe dream. Why would the DCCC go and force a CD-6 primary with a damaged goods candidate who doesn’t have AFL-CIO support, ran a slash-and-burn clusterfuck of a campaign in 2010 that even attacked the President, has a ton of Federal campaign debt–all against a hard-at-work candidate already in the race who’s raised a bunch of money?

      But by all means, let’s go through another exercise in, “Will he? Won’t he?” That worked out so well for him the first go ’round!

      I can’t believe there are people who still give a shit. Good grief, this is stupid.  

  1. and this may be the second time he gets in a race too late. I hate to say it, but I will fight like Hell to defeat him again. Joe Miklosi is a great candidate, a good and decent man, and he’s worked hard already for this seat. If Romanoff thinks he can show up to the dance and go home with someone else’s date, there are a whole lot of us who are going to make sure he doesn’t. And this time, half of Andrew’s base has already pledged to support Joe.

    It’s a shame, too. If Andrew had the good sense to get in from the beginning, he’d have an army of supporters. Why does he do this?

    And why would he do it to a good friend?

    1. disagreement with your thinking; this would not be one of those times.

      Mr. Romanoff, I’m afraid, is building an unwelcome reputation for being unwilling or unable to appear committed to a race or an office.  Hey, I like ponderers and Hamlet is one of my Shakespearean favorites, but I wouldn’t want him as my Congressman or Senator.  

        1. He is a good man and is doing great things with his non-profit center.  But he missed Rabbit’s advice:

          “Look, if you had, one shot, or one opportunity

          To seize everything you ever wanted-One moment

          Would you capture it, or just let it slip?”

          He keeps letting it slip until it comes at the price of another Dem and I am not good with that.  

          If you want it don’t let it slip.

      1. I don’t know what happened to his mojo, but he needs to get over it leaving. He’s doing good work and hasn’t paid off his Senate debt. Why put a good cause on hold while you spend a load of opm killing your brand and credit rating a little more fighting to beat a guy who doesn’t need to be beaten?

        It’s not even that bad a thing. Honestly, a show of hands for who likes the Clintons more since they’ve gotten out of the running (raise them high, some of us are far away). Both of them are doing better for more people and Sec. Clinton is still in her last public office. Figure that out. It’s great! Go be a Clinton, Romanoff. (You love Clintons!)

    2. How much is Joe going to lose by? 10 points or just like 7 or 8.

      Actually, it would probably be a miracle if polls showed Joe doing that well.

      This isn’t about people’s bitterness toward Romanoff or how “he’s worked hard already for this seat” (whatever that means.) It’s about beating Coffman. Miklosi is no more entitled to this seat than anyone, and that’s why you’re still seeing people urging Romanoff to get in despite him dragging ass.

      Anyone who says Miklosi has a better chance than Romanoff (or pretty much anyone else for that matter) of taking the seat is drinking even stronger Kool-Aid than the Romanoff folks were in 2009-2010.

    3.  “I will fight like Hell to defeat him again.”  Why?  Is there a rule that the first one in is the only one deserving of consideration or support?  What if we adopt a rational plan to hear all comers, up to statutory deadlines and election day. Your characterization of process as “someone else’s date” does not reflect my understanding of the process. I don’t buy the argument that we make the best choices by limiting the number.

      1. You should write a diary outlining the policy differences between Romanoff and Miklosi. Any issue you see the two splitting on? I’ll even allow complete speculation. Immigration? Equal rights? Banking? Environment? Energy? “National security”? Any single vote in the last two years they would’ve split on?

        I don’t think Nancy’s larger point is that the first is best, rather that when you have two of the same and one has been working for months to secure support, the other same should avoid undermining that support because they can’t make a decision.

        Anyway, Romanoff himself has supported the first choice making a choice before the other folks jump in. At least twice. So without answers from my first paragraph, let’s stick to Romanoff’s prior policy of first Dem in is last Dem standing with everyone’s support. It seems the most decent thing to do.

        1. I admire Joe and Nancy for fighting the good fight. They put themselves out there every day. The question to Nancy was sincere,is fighting AGAINST Andrew a productive exercise?

          As for the diary recommendation, wouldn’t you be much better informed by the principal(s)?

          You may enjoy the speculation game. I find it unhelpful.

          Work to get Joe elected.

          1. I don’t think Nancy’s larger point is that the first is best, rather that when you have two of the same and one has been working for months to secure support, the other same should avoid undermining that support because they can’t make a decision.

            Fremont — I waved signs on cold winter mornings at Arapahoe and Parker road for Hank Eng. I made calls. I busted my butt helping John Flerlage get his campaign off the ground. There are few people in CO who want Mike Coffman out of office more than me and my friends. Why?

            In 08, I worked for MoveOn. My team and I hit every bus stop, every train station, every apartment building, every shopping area, etc., registering voters in Arapahoe County. We spent every waking moment for months doing it. I did it when I was paid, and when I wasn’t being paid. We registered many thousands of new voters– many of whom had given up on democracy long ago, but were willing to take a chance on Barack Obama.

            Mike Coffman was SOS then, and he was none too pleased with all the new people named Washington and Jackson and Montoya and Gomez on the rolls, apparently, because he did everything he could to purge every single new voter of the rolls. He even lied about how his staff instructed us to fill out the forms. You may remember the federal court case against him which did not find him innocent — instead it allowed him to fix the things he did wrong in the first place.

            Time and time and time again I have heard citizen lobbyists saying they couldn’t get a conversation or an appointment with Coffman as Congressman for CD6. His staff has even told people to their face, and over the phone, things like, “Mike represents the people who voted for him”. Period. Not all of his constitutents — only the Rs who voted for him.  Coffman’s staffers also lied to the press when we got 1400 pro-reform activists to picket his office. In one ten second lie to the papers, they said they were mostly “anti-reform tea partiers” (I have photos of people with signs to prove they lied that day).

            I believe Mike Coffman to be a grave threat to democracy in Colorado. He has consistently voted to obstruct every forward-action of the President of the United States. No one wants Coffman out of office more than my friends and I.

            Joe Miklosi jumped in the race early, and has been making fundraising and support calls from Day One. He has a talented staff, a lean-running machine, and he works his ass off. He has won two elections in the past decade, and knows exactly how to do it. He is also not tied to the far-left loons like Romanoff’s Senate campaign had, who ultimately ruined Romanoff’s image and caused him to lose a state-wide race.

            I may have mispoken. I will not work to defeat Romanoff. I will work to get Miklosi elected. Joe has a chance. Andrew has a history. Sure, 8 years of his history was brilliant, but his Senate race was a disaster. Before Andrew jumps in another non-Denver race, he needs to learn campaigning in non-safe districts. It is a whole different animal than Denver. Playing the super-progressive card, for example, is an enormous mistake. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure this out, folks.

            Andrew Romanoff is a good man, doing great things. He has a lot of friends. He needs to identify a race early, get in on the first day, and play the campaign to the demographics of the race. He needs to disassociate himself with looney-tunes. He needs to learn to work with the Democratic party at all levels, not against them. Until he learns these things, people like me are not going to trust he is an electable candidate outside of Denver.

            We are not letting Andrew Romanoff screw this one up. It’s too important. (Sorry to write so much — this one is personal.)

    4. the only, i repeat only reason Andrew Romanoff would get in this race is if the DCCC asks him to do so.

      I like Joe just as much as Andrew – they are both good democrats. Bennet was someone who I was suspect of from the moment Ritter picked him out of nowhere.

      But in that primary,

      I remember many people saying in the Senate Primary

      “The NSCC and Obama are behind Bennet, that’s why I am going with him”

      it was hard to argue against.

      Will you be ready to take up the sword against the DCCC and the establishment if they are behind Andrew Romanoff?

      if so, good luck with that, I found it sucks big time when you are arguing against your own party leaders.

      1. If the DCCC get behind Romanoff (extremely unlikely), I will ask a lot of questions. The issue here is a Dem challenging another good Dem who has already been campaigning awhile. The DCCC is probably interested in using money wisely. Dems fighting other Dems is not good use of party money.  

        1. if the experts on these things have crunched every number and scrutinized each candidate, I will absolutely go with the one the Dems are pushing. We need every man, woman and child involved to defeat Coffman.

          And their wallets. (Please give.)

      2. I remember many people saying in the Senate Primary “The NSCC and Obama are behind Bennet, that’s why I am going with him”

        I remember nobody saying that.

        Maybe in “deep politcal insider” circles (which don’t include me), some party hacks said that.

        But what I remember on pols and in actual conversations was that Bennet folks either, in some combination, (a) liked Bennet’s policy seriousness, earnestness, and ed background, &/or (b) disliked Romanoff’s dishonesty, or disliked that Romanoff was waging a likely futile primary that promised only to weaken Bennet in a very tough year for a dem.

        Sad to see that you’re still trying to make yourself feel all superior by telling yourself the majority of the party that voted for Bennet consists of unthinking drones following orders from the powerful.

        You must really enjoy your fantasy world in which you are so righteous and the rest of us never enjoy the sensation of electrical impulses firing across our neurons.

        1. I agree, many people made an intelligent and thoughtful decision to go with Bennet because they liked his politics or his performance. However, I also agree with Wade that many people who are not very engaged and informed between Presidential election years did trust the President to “choose” Bennet for them. I volunteered with some of them on the Coordinated Campaign. They told me as much — “If Barack likes him, I like him!”

          Also, I think you are more of a political insider than you give yourself credit for, Raymond1. Heck, you’re here. Many Coloradans cannot name their State House and Senate Reps. Everyone here on Pols can, and most of us hold them accountable, to boot. Joe Rice told an  amusing anecdote about constituents who assumed he went to Washington to work every day. When he told them each state had it’s own legislators, they were surprised to hear it. I think we forget how few people even think about government between big election years. It doesn’t take much in America to be an “insider”, sadly. If we’re having this discussion in 2011, we all are, IMHO.

  2. I wonder if he’s engaged Pat Caddell to crunch those numbers.  Using Caddell (a Dick Morris clone) during his Senate race was, and still is, a real head scratcher.

      1. Not sure whether or not I can get a jury trial, but that’s what I’m aiming for.

        And on that note: I’m looking to get one of those clown horns, you know, the squeeze bulb things that go “ooh-a-ooh-a-ooh-a” (or whatever) when you squeeze the rubber bulb, Then I’m going to “ooh-a” like crazy when I pass by. No ticket for using my automobile “warning horn”, right?  

  3. CHRIST.

    If you’re gonna be a dick and challenge someone because you think you’re entitled or whatever, at least go up against a safe dem.

    Just when you thought this guy couldn’t be a bigger douchebag.  

    1. There are more politicians coming from a lower level than there are higher level offices.  Competition has to happen.  And Romanoff’s sole disadvantage over Miklosi is that he hasn’t started his campaign as early.

      I think if he gets in, he and Miklosi should sit down and talk it through first – be sure they’re both comfortable with each other being in the race since they’re supposedly friends.  And they should talk about how to win the seat, no sniping from either side.

      Otherwise, Romanoff’s best bet at this point is to wait out the election cycle and run for SOS or something.

      1. Why, oh why does he do this to already vulnerable Democrats. He could have gotten the nomination against Hick with party loyals and with the Tancredo-Maes split the Office too.

  4. This is about beating Coffman. But Andrew needs to shit or get off the pot.

    And if he runs, it better not be on a PAC money platform. He’s going to need a lot of it to win.

    He can take the assemblies, no problem. The bigger question is why he has to wait for another dem to enter a race, procrastinate forever and piss everybody off with the endless prognosticating.

    If he is serious about beating Coffman, then more power to him. If he isn’t and is doing his waffling act, he needs to end this conversation by announcing he isn’t running.

    1. I know you. I know him. You will love him. Call me — I’ll give you his number. Better yet, just call his campaign. They’ll probably hand the phone over to him, or he will call you back. Tell me when you can volunteer, and I will meet you there and volunteer with you, if you like. I’m a Mom — I’ll bring snacks.  🙂

      1. someone i like, and he has worked hard to elect other good democrats before he was elected

        but, remember, this is about the DCCC and the chance to win a formerly solid republican seat.

        i find it ironic, since the same party leaders tried to pretend Mike Miles had not been campaigning for 2 years against Knighthorse-Campbell when they got solidly behind Ken Salazar – when Knighthorse-Campbell suddenly dropped out.

        This is also the same thing – the district is now suddenly winnable, unlike before.

        I think the DCCC is assessing this race much the same way.

        1. I watched all four. 3 and 4 are the best to hear from Joe. Very interesting stuff. Do you still have the radio show? Where is it on the dial and when?

    1. He said they’ve talked a number of times. Joe doesn’t think he is running, but isn’t focused on it either. Joe’s working his tail off either way. Joe (paraphrasing): “This isn’t about me or about Andrew anyway. This is about the people of CD6 who deserve the very best representation.”

  5. When Miklosi first announced, it was a suicide mission. No one knew how the maps were going to turn out and if they stayed even relatively they way they were now, Joe was nothing more then a sacrificial lamb. And then the map wars started and the wheels began turning and in the end CD-6 is looking like it is winnable for Democrats. This is when people started thinking to themselves “hey, you know what, does Joe have what it takes to take Coffman down?”

    I don’t care if Miklosi’s been campaigning for this seat since he was 18 years old or if he has a heart of gold and feeds starving children every night while adopting every stray puppy in Arapahoe County. It’s not his right to run unopposed because he announced first and it’s not his seat until he wins it. Every Democrat wants to see the 6th in Democrat hands. If that means Romanoff, or anyone else for that matter, has to step in to make sure a weaker candidate doesn’t get the nod, then so be it. Life’s not fair in the aluminium siding business.  

  6. @nancycronk, above: Excellent analysis of Andrew’s options. Thanks for the compassion in opposition.

    And thanks for your commitment to defeat Coffmann. I (we?) agree:

    I believe Mike Coffman to be a grave threat to democracy in Colorado.  

    I, too, contribute to his demise. (no 2nd Ammendment reference intended-please, don’t taser me, dude.)

    About Andrew:

    Romanoff needs to attack now (May I emphasize? NOW. Where’s that darned bold button?) the regressive policies of our present governor, the Hick.

    Hick ran as a pig in a poke. We bought it. He turned out to be a runt. With worms. And somehow he bonded with the turkeys in the oilfield and the financial manipulators on 17th Street scratching in our feed. Hick can’t even squeal like a Dem because he’s been brought up by Republican ideologue turkeys. He gobbles (when he says anything at all) like Joe Lieberman. It’s time for a barbecue. He’s no progressive breeder to keep for the future, that’s for sure.

    Romanoff is empathetic and a heartfelt liberal. His accomplishments in the legislature are commendable. That’s his heart. What about his mind? He knows the ins and outs of state governance. But, as nancy says, instructively:

    He needs to identify a race early, get in on the first day, and play the campaign to the demographics of the race. He needs to disassociate himself with looney-tunes.

    Well, the race  must be for governor. That’s Colorado’s need. The time is now.

    Hit the Hick early; he’s vulnerable on so many fronts that affect the middle class in Colorado–even Hick’s “barbarians”. Your kids’ education? Big Oil’s intrusion on our environmentally sensitive business growth? Hick’s crude siding with the power structure protecting the 1% against the “occupiers”? Hick’s support of corporate takeover of local school districts?

    A smart progressive, which I believe Andrew is, can position progressive arguments in a way that “average” Coloradans can relate to. Colorado is not scarlet, though there are areas that are Ron Paul crimson.

    But here’s the rub: Andrew’s loonies. In 2010 I voted for Bennet, against Andew, not only because I felt Bennet had a better understnding of the financial shenanigans in Washington and on Wall Street, but because Romanoff’s vocal and literal backers were so damned fanatically, threateningly righteous. The caucus was an exercize in, frankly, bullying and resistance. Romanoff’s backers were the left’s answer to the arrogant tea partiers.

    But if Andrew can mount –immediately– a campaign against the Hick and his pseudo-Democratic agenda, in a Colorado sensitive populist manner, his true calling, I believe, is for Governor of our state.

    1. I think there are a lot of Dems who feel as you do. I wake up almost every day and hope the Governor will begin to communicate his Democratic values more clearly. Friends around the Governor’s office keep telling me he has them, but I’ll be darned if I can find any evidence of it. Miguel Ali nailed it the other day when he said Hick needs to hold more press conferences, particularly one where he has a conversation with the leaders of the Occupy movement saying he hears their concerns.

      A similar thought I’ve had for Romanoff is this: after President Obama is re-elected, there is always a chance his new administration could shop in Colorado for appointees. If DeGette, Bennet, Udall or Perlmutter scored a big job like Salazar did three years ago, Romanoff needs to be ready that minute to call a press conference to bring attention to himself as a candidate for appointment. If he gets it, awesome. If he doesn’t, the Governor’s race would be the next logical move; he starts campaigning that day. You and I can lead the parade with all the others.

      Sound unlikely? A few weeks ago, when the head of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was in town, she was at a private event I attended. She went on and on about how amazing her close, dear friend Congressman Ed Perlmutter was. (Many of us agree, but it was impressive to hear her say it!). I suspect she has a wee bit of pull with the President.

      (Incidentally, was the Governor there? No. Did he make an appearance at the Dems executive committee or central committee meetings this past year? No. Denver Dems annual dinner? No. Ritter used to come to Dem party stuff like that. If Hick loses support among Dems, and based on the angry tone of the Dems executive committee meeting today when his name was mentioned — he already has, he only has himself to blame.)

      BTW, I love the way your street-talk. Makes me homesick for shooting the bull with my Dad and his shop friends in Detroit.  🙂

    2. Seriously, Romanoff pissed me off badly in 2010, but Hick has been such a conservative that I’d fight for Romanoff in a heartbeat. It’d be a longshot, but unlike Romanoff’s challenge to Bennet that featured little real ideological difference, a Romanoff challenge to Hick would give progressives — including many folks like me who were super-pro-Bennet in 2010 — a great cause to fight for.

    3. and typecast himself like that after the way the Senate campaign went.

      By the way, if you voted for Bennet in the Senate primary, and you still think Bennet’s doing a swell job for the people of Colorado after everything that’s gone down, then you are part of the problem, Larry. You and your ilk paved the way for Hick to be governor, and now you’re looking to AR as a white knight to repair the damage you’ve done? What’s wrong with this picture?

      1. the reason we got a “pig in a poke” governor is because the Dem Party “leadership,” including the anonymous propagandists who operate ColoradoPols, actively suppress intra-party democracy. Primaries are verboten, and thou shalt not ask questions or express doubts about whatever jerk the party “leaders” choose as the officially sanctioned candidate in a closed-door meeting (in lieu of a competitive primary election with a free debate of ideas) and then set about to “clear the field” for. How can anyone be surprised when this system turns out badly?  

  7. AR should not primary ANYBODY. I will say again that if he wants the CO Dems to fall in love with him again he should lead the recall effort against Gessler and run himself as the replacement candidate. After performing well in that role for a term or 2 he’ll be sitting nicely, still with youth, ready for Governor race when that opens up again.

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