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June 26, 2024 11:37 AM UTC

Lauren Boebert: Yesterday, Today, And Forever

  • by: Colorado Pols

As Andrew Kenney at Colorado Public Radio reports, the last, best chance to put an end to one of the consistently craziest reality TV spectacles in modern American politics died with a whimper last night as calumnious carpetbagging calamity for Christ Rep. Lauren Boebert rolled to victory over five hapless also-rans in the CO-04 Republican primary to succeed Rep. Ken Buck:

The primary was a test of whether voters in this half-rural, half-suburban stretch of the state had an appetite for Boebert’s combination of hardline conservative politics, Christian faith messaging, election denialism and firebrand personal style — and if they were willing to accept a representative with few local ties.

For other ambitious Republicans, the open seat in the Fourth represented a rare opportunity to move up in Colorado politics. Democrats have come to dominate the state’s highest offices over the past decade, but Republican politicians can reign for years or decades in a heavily conservative district like the Fourth.

Also in the race were conservative radio host Deborah Flora; state Reps. Richard Holtorf and Mike Lynch; Logan County Commissioner and former state lawmaker Jerry Sonnenberg; and corporate finance executive Peter Yu.

Boebert’s victory in last night’s CO-04 GOP primary was no surprise, with polling having shown for some months that Boebert was the only candidate in the race with enough name recognition to stand out from the pack. Boebert also brought resources over from her expected costly rematch in CO-03 that allowed her to spend multiples of her opponents on advertising. Of the five candidates who ran against Boebert, former state Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg was the nominal insider favorite, with a long list of local endorsements including former CO-04 Rep. and U.S. Senator Cory Gardner. But in the end, Sonnenberg was unable to either distinguish himself from the other non-Boebert candidates or persuade them to drop out and consolidate the non-Boebert vote. As a result, Boebert slightly overperformed expectations with a plurality of 43% as of this morning–but we’ll never know if the result might have been different had a single challenger been able to gain momentum.

As Ernest Luning writes for the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political blog, Boebert’s initial failure to clear the field of irate challengers perversely became Boebert’s salvation as the large pack of candidates each refused to set aside their own pipe dreams for the greater good:

Instead of clearing the field, however, Boebert’s move was denounced as “carpetbagging” by fellow Republicans, including nearly a dozen who vied along with her to replace Buck in Colorado’s most solid GOP seat. Eventually, six Republicans, including Boebert, made the ballot, but none matched her fundraising lead and high-profile advantage.

In early returns, Boebert jumped out far ahead of her Republican rivals and never relinquished the lead.

When Boebert, reeling from compounding disgraces that came to a head with her ejection from a Denver theater for vaping and lewd conduct with her male companion last September, announced in late December that she would switch districts to run in the crowded CO-04 primary, her decision was widely written off as an act of desperation from a politician circling the drain of an abbreviated career. After falling in line to back Boebert’s primary opponent in CO-03 Jeff Hurd, Republicans looking to end the ongoing damage Boebert does to their brand had a wide-open opportunity to refocus the CO-04 race around a single challenger who could counter Boebert’s built-in advantages.

Former Rep. Scott Tipton and his team of supposedly crack political operatives were blindsided by Boebert in 2020. In 2024, none of Boebert’s opponents had the foresight to realize their campaigns were in the end helping Boebert win. Sonnenberg could only watch helplessly as the opposition to Boebert divided five ways.

Barring some kind of Betsy Markey-style miracle, Lauren Boebert will now occupy Colorado’s safest Republican seat for as long as she wants it–or becomes too toxic even for this demonstrably…forgiving new constituency. This greater security is likely to have the effect of making Boebert even more outrageous in her daily trolling for attention. Boebert hasn’t learned any lessons from the intense criticism she has received for repeatedly claiming credit for programs she voted against, and isn’t likely to now that she’s been rewarded with an even safer seat. Republican primary voters in this deep-red district might have looked past her prodigious baggage this time, but the reality is that Boebert does collateral damage to Republicans everywhere.

It’s not Democrats who will regret this lost opportunity.


14 thoughts on “Lauren Boebert: Yesterday, Today, And Forever

  1. Celebrity is what ultimately matters in the modern GOP primaries. Tribal identity with rage politics can overcome even the most vacuous and unproductive tenures and legacy. She won the primary the same way Trump won in 2016. Not with an actual groundswell of support but rather just somewhat better name recognition coupled with a deeply incompetent backbench of local politico pretenders to run against.

    1. She actually has a more effective history as a legislator than Gym Jordan. She got one, count 'em, one bill across the finish line and the president  for signature whereas Jordan can't even make that claim. (And I'm guessing Boebert has co-sponsors who did the heavy lifting.)

      1. Some men just want to watch the world burn. And women too. It's not just Trump and Boebert, it's their enablers, which include anyone who votes for these awful, awful people.

        1. I hold their enablers in much more contempt than I hold Trump and Boebert.

          Trump, Boebert and the others (MTG, Gaetz, etc.) are simply filling a need that exists – the need for someone to make losers in life feel better about themselves by pandering to their sense of victimization and by bashing (a) racial/ethnic minorities, (b) foreigners, (c) LGBTQ folk, (d) anyone with a shred of concern for the environment, and (e) anyone who has a post-secondary education (a/k/a "the elite").

          Group "a" through "e" are responsible for all the misery in their lives. My favorite is when they go off about affirmative action in higher education. Like the only reason Lauren Boebert didn't go to Harvard Law School is because she is white and some minority took her seat.


      2. Boebert's bill … as she describes it, is "my Pueblo Jobs Act that creates at least 1000 jobs in Pueblo."

        1.  it is an application of an existing process for turning no longer needed military facilities over to local governments for economic redevelopment.

        2.  it actually was shoe-horned into the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), giving a wide range of reasons why those in Congress would want to pass the broader bill.

        3.  and of course, others in the Colorado delegation were supportive –

        Two key pieces of legislation have been introduced in Congress, reflecting the shared commitment to economic development and job creation in the region.

        In the Senate, The Promoting Utilization and Economic Benefits from Land Optimization (PUEBLO) Act was introduced by Democratic Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet, and the Pueblo Jobs Act, its companion legislation, sponsored by Republican Representative Lauren Boebert,"


  2. Eternal optimist here… Abortion is on the ballot in November. Boebert is anti-abortion. The get out the vote for Trisha Calvaresa will coincide with the get out the vote for the Constitutional amendment in favor of abortion rights. My guess is that some unaffiliated voters will support Calvaresa for just that reason. This race isn't over yet, but it is possible that Boebert might get a November surprise. 


    1. If Bloomberg's report about the outcome of the Idaho emergency abortion case turns out to be correct, then abortion may not be the lightening rod we hope it will be.

      According to Bloomberg News, there was an inadvertent posting on SCOTUS website that Doyle was being dismissed as cert improvidently granted in a 6 to 3 vote with Thomas, Alito and Gorsuch dissenting. SCOTUS issued a statement saying that there was a "document" posted in error.

      Dismissing the case let's the lower court injunction remain in effect taking the sting out of Idaho's virtual ban on abortion even in medical emergencies. Roberts, Coney Barrett and Kavanaugh can pat themselves on the back for making Merka a little less like Gilead, at least until after November.

    2. I wouldn't write off Calvarese at all. See for yourself.
      She came down to the Grizzly Rose June 1 for the Republican Women of Weld Rumble, the only Democrat who showed up.  She made her case to the (mostly) Republicans and press very openly and straightforwardly, ( pro-choice, pro-cannabis, knowledgeable about rural issues) and I think people liked that.   ( see video below at about 2 hours 30 minutes in when they finally get to the CD4 vacancy nominations)

      Her schtick is like Lauren Boebert's :

      "I'm a rural woman, not a politician, someone who can relate to your struggles."

      And unlike Bobo, Calvarese seems not to have skeletons tumbling out of her closet and vaping in public places.


      1. The Colorado Sun has an article explaining

        How Colorado’s primary election results suggest Lauren Boebert won’t lose to a Democrat in November

        Former state Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, now a Logan County commissioner, pledged in a written statement that he would help her win in November. He came in second in the primary, with 14% of the vote as of Wednesday afternoon.

        Boebert has a great deal more money from nationwide supporters and didn't seem wounded by opponents pointing to her lack of experience with local issues, lack of success in getting federal funds for the CO-3 district, or her family problems.

        Calvarese may be able to gain an edge among Unaffiliated voters, but the margin there would need to overcome the likely margin created by similar participation levels among the active registered voters:  89k Democrats and 188k Repubilcans. And she doesn't have a long history in the district. While she attended school in Douglas County, she left and only returned to the district in October 2023.

        Calvarese, a first-time candidate who previously worked as a speechwriter and an intern for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, was trailing Lopez by 24 percentage points as of Wednesday afternoon. And she was losing to Lopez, a twice-failed Colorado gubernatorial candidate with a history of run-ins with law enforcement, in each of the district’s 21 counties.
  3. I don't know that abortion is a non-issue with the non decision on the Idaho case. Multiple red states have a constitutional right to abortion on the ballot this Nobvember and with increasing worries that another Trump term will make abortion access worse, I think it will be a big election issue.

    Having said that, I don't think anything will stop Bobert from being elected to represent CD4, to paraphrase Thanos, Lauren Bobert is inevitable.

  4. Lauren Boebert is certainly a clown show as a public official, but the fact that she was able to jump districts and win a primary in a Congressional race does indicate, I think, that she has some political skills.

    Sure, she's using those skills to appeal to a political party base to which they appear to be uniquely (and inexplicably) suited. But I believe credit must be given when it is due. Boebert, with no experience living in rural eastern Colorado and with no ties to that district, nevertheless earned the confidence of nearly half of her party's primary electorate.

    And unlike some who argue that she won only because there were numerous other candidates seeking the nomination, I'm not so sure that's a correct reading. Who's to say that, with Flora out of the race, for example, Boebert doesn't pick up her supporters?

    Boebert has this rogueish image. And, honestly, while it is tinged with, well, some grossness, I think she's shown some ability to get voters either to look beyond it or actually cheer for it with this win, if not with her wins in 2020 and 2022. That's no small political achievement, even if she represents the worst of Trumpism.

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