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August 22, 2007 05:09 PM UTC

Is Bob Schaffer Running or Not?!

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: According to Schaffer advisor Walt Klein (courtesy the Denver Post, which also mentions Colorado Pols in the article), Schaffer “misspoke” in his interview with the Pueblo Chieftain, and is working on a, um, “two-step” rollout of his Senate campaign. Klein concedes that Schaffer’s apparently accurate quotes in the Chieftain may have “unintentionally raised doubt about Schaffer’s commitment to the race.”

An article in this morning’s Pueblo Chieftain on an upcoming meeting between Senate candidate Mark Udall and Pinon Canyon ranchers throws an unexpected curveball into speculation about his Republican opponent Bob Schaffer. This has to be a misprint, right?

Udall, the only Colorado lawmaker on the House Armed Services Committee, said the Army has failed to make its case, thus far, for needing an additional 414,000 acres added to the training area, which is located in Las Animas County…

Udall, who represents Boulder and the 2nd Congressional District, is the only Democrat to have announced his Senate campaign thus far, while former Rep. Bob Schaffer, a Republican member of the Colorado Board of Education, is the only Republican raising money for a Senate race.

Schaffer, who is from Fort Collins, clearly did not want to step into the Pinon Canyon controversy Tuesday. Asked for his opinion on the proposed expansion, the former 4th District congressman declined to give one.

“Next year, when and if I announce my Senate candidacy, it will be a more appropriate time to speak out on this important subject,” he said, choosing his words carefully in a telephone interview. [Pols emphasis]

In the meantime, Schaffer added, he would continue to talk to military officials, ranchers and others in evaluating the “complex and complicated” issue…

Correct us if we’re wrong, but didn’t Schaffer already “announce his candidacy” at least twice? Either the Chieftain reporter misquoted him, in which case we’ll watch for a correction, or we’re back to discussing whether on not Schaffer is going to stay in this race.

Either way, expressing no opinion on the Pinon Canyon military expansion–the hottest political issue in Schaffer’s CD-4 home area–scores Schaffer no points. But again, does that even matter if he’s not going to be the candidate?

Between Schaffer’s disastrous response to Progress Now’s conflict-of-interest accusations and this answer to a simple policy question from a reporter that re-invites speculation on his commitment to the Senate race–and let’s not forget the bungled campaign kick-off announcement(s) last spring–what the hell is going on here? Disorganization? Lack of testicular fortitude? It’s bizarre, and for those of you hoping to see Wayne Allard’s Senate seat stay in the red column, it’s not good.


89 thoughts on “Is Bob Schaffer Running or Not?!

  1. I was about to post a link to the Chieftain article when I saw it had already been done.  It’s a well-written article by a very good and very experienced reporter.  Somethin’ tells me it’s not a reporter error.

  2. Bob Schaffer has landed himself smack in the middle of it. Why pick up the phone when the Pueblo Chieftain calls if you don’t have a comment ready for Pinon Canyon?

    Why do you have to be a candidate to have an opinion on an issue affecting the state? Even if that made any sense, if you raise three quarters of a million dollars for a campaign you are candidate.

    Telling the reporter you’re busy with your head buried in the sand is pretty lame.

    1. this either tells us BS has no real understanding the issues in rural Colorado and gave a lame-ostrich excuse, or he’s beginning to waffle is candidacy. More likely it’s a little of both; ignorance of coloradoans and fear of losing again.

  3. Now it looks like Schaffer is looking to out-do Beauprez as lamest candidate(?) ever. If this is the best Rs can do in a state-wide race in a state where they hold the natural advantage, 2008 may be the year we can all stop arguing over whether Colorado is purple or blue.

        1. Maybe we can just praise the Lord that we both live in a state that respects our values and ability to disagree.  If I can live here and think that it is a family values, patriotic sort of red state and you can live here and also think that it is a quiche-eating, tofu state, it must be one heckuva state, right? 

          Maybe, like every other state in America (except for maybe Utah and Massachusetts), it all depends on where you live….

            1. Rasmussen and Survey USA have done a number of polls for a potential Clinton/Giuliani matchup next fall. 

              Rasmussen shows Hillary winning barely in Ohio and Michigan, comfortably in Florida, and overwhelmingly in Arkansas (+12%). 

              Survey USA shows Hillary beating Rudy in Virgina, Kentucky, and other swing states like Minnesota, Oregon, and Michigan.  In only two states, Kansas and Missouri, is Rudy winning.

              In all the recent polls done for a potential Rudy/Hillary matchup, Colorado is the most pro-Rudy state.  In other words, if the election were held today, Colorado wouldn’t even be considered by the Hillary campaign.


              YOu can argue that the Rasmussen poll was lame.  But realize that his numbers measure up exactly with Survey USA’s and the Rasmussen poll showed Ritter doing amazing and it also showed that Colorado is more likely to favor a tax HIKE than even Florida.

              In other words, if you dismiss Ramussen’s numbers you are dismissing the fact that he also shows Colorado coming in more liberal on taxes but more conservative on social issues.  If the polls is skewed right, than Ritter must be close to 50% and Colorado is one of the most anti-tax states.

              Also realize that Fred Thompson is getting smoked in head to heads with Hillary.  Except in Colorado. 

              I’m pretty lukewarm about the whole poll.  I think that if the election were today, Udall would win by 3 and Rudy/Romney/Fred would win by double-digits.  Call it red or blue, I call it independence.

              1. By the way, I thought the latest showed Ritter is in the 60’s.

                With any poll this far out, and Yes I know we throw our poll numbers out there to back our point on the issues, but they can only be taken with a grain of salt. We are still a year out from the primary, let alone the general. Colorado hasn’t voted for Democrat for President in, well, I don’t know the last time.

                However, this state is going to be in play, and the way the Dems are raising money as compared to R’s, I forsee a lot more of their resources being spent out here than any Republican candidate, especially with the DNC boosting business in the metro area.

                I see more campaign structure, sound messaging, and lots of on the ground support, especially with the Senate, Congressional, and other state races pushing the ticket. While the ticket may split, I don’t think Coloradoans are going to vote in favor of the Republican.

                My two cents say Rudy won’t be the nominee. So there is nothing to see here!

              2. isn’t popular here. Plenty of other Dems are.  Here’s the thing.  We have so many unaffiliated voters in this state, they determine whether the state goes red, blue, or some combination of the two.  Since 2004 indies have stopped leaning heavily toward Republican candidates and started leaning toward Dems.  It will take another election or two to see if this is a blip, a reaction to the war and all the Republican  corruption scandals, or whether it’s  here to stay for a while. 

                Many indies I spoke to in 2006 used to vote R because they feared  Dems as too liberal.  They  started voting D because they no longer felt comfortable with the far right social conservatives who had taken over the Republican party, found THEM scary and found most of the Dems running in their districts or state-wide to be more like themselves.

                The right here likes to say the Dems who won these folks  were all conservatives, even though for decades the right has  painted ALL Dems as wild eyed anti-family godless fringe  lefties.  But in any case, blue just means Dem, not far left, so it doesn’t matter what flavor Dem indies prefer.  If they keep helping more Ds than Rs get elected, Colorado can be considered legitimate blue even if it’s a kinda moderate, kinda populist brand of blue.  And I’m as blue as they come and don’t like Hillary either.  So what?

  4. I have never thought that he would be the candidate.  When you look at the counties that he would have to either win or hold Udall to a narrow margin, it just doesn’t look good for him.  It is not all that clear that he could get a decisive win in his home county of Larimer.

    I have always thought that he was little more than a bookmark candidate for the ultra-conservative wing of the Republican Party until they find the candidate that they really want to run.  And, no, I have absolutely no idea who that might be.

    If you look at the Colorado counties similarly to the Electoral College, it becomes very clear where you have to win if you are going to pull off the election.  One-on-one, Udall has always looked stronger to me in those key counties than Schaffer.

  5. Who will the Republicans turn to?
    Bill Owens, US Attorney Troy Eid gets good press and has a cute family, Pete Coors may want to go again, Josh Penry has nothing to lose, Jim Nicholson has a lot of money and a lot of skeletons from his VA days, Bob Beauprez can self fund at least through the primary, Doug Lamborn may see an impending loss to Crank and try for the Senate, Tom Tancredo is always tougher than expected, Ken Buck is so amibtious that he could try to jump from small town DA to US Senate, Jane Norton is photogenic, and who knows there may be others out there.
    Bob Schaffer is toast. The only questions now are when he withdraws, what his excuse will be and who the GOP will turn to.

  6. For god’s sake people, Hank Brown came out of retirement to save CU, after coming out of retirement to save Ref C and he is due to enter retirement again next March.  If Schaffer can only waddle along until the end of the year or so and then decided not to run or to withdraw, then the republican party will beg Hank Brown to come out of retirement and save them the senate seat, again…

    And, most reluctantly and most graciously, he will consent to save the party and the country and will accept the republican nomination…..

    No one is going to “owens” Schaffer again….he gets to be the test pony…he has earned that run. and gets to leave when he wants..  What does he do with all those big bucks when he doesn’t run?

    1. The money can be given to his political friends and allies around the country. Or, it can be used in the same manner that Scott McInnis uses his war chest.

      But, Dwyer do you agree that Schaffer is toast and the only question is the day he gets buttered? Or, do you actually think he is a viable candidate.

      Hank Brown wins if he runs.  You  ruined Mark Udall’s day with that idea.

      1. After the Dems won big in 06, I think the Repubs strategized on how to win back a lot in 08 in Colorado…..i don’t think that ever included Schaffer as the Senate candidate….unless he came out of the box big and beautiful….which was unlikely and he did not…..

        The repubs treated BS really badly in 06 and they can’t afford to do it again… I think that BS will just waddle along…singing his song….and gradually fade away….I don’t think he is big enough to be toast….

        As for the right wing repubs…they want to win…they compromise all over the place…Hank Brown fired Ward Churchill….that is all you need to know….he can win on that in the primary and probably the state…..IMHO

  7. This.Is.Bad.

    He looks like a complete buffoon.

    I vote they run Troy Eid. Smart, succesful, young, good family, he’s at least part Egyptian so there’s a compelling story. But do you want a Rove/Gonzalez USA running in 2008?

    1. Hank Brown has transformed himself from third rate hack from the Armstrong team and a totally undistinguished US Senator into an elder statesman. Is he too old or does he have one more race in him?

      1. to quote our old friend Iron Mike.

        I doubt he’d run, and his Ref C support makes him toxic to the extreme right wingers that show up for the GOP primary.  Which is why he’d be a better candidate for Colorado, and also why he won’t run in my opinion.

        1. I forgot about the litmus test that is Ref C. Excellent point.

          I think a candidate who is pro-choice, anti-gun and presiding over gay marriages at his house on weekends but was against Ref C,could still beat anyone who supported Ref C in a GOP primary.

        2.   Besides, the GOP should try to showcase those very few combat vets in the party’s ranks, and Hank Brown did serve in Vietnam while others, how shall I word this…..served in the National Guard, or were too depressed and took a deferment.
            Mark Udall will have a tough time running against Hank Brown.

    2. Schaffer’s running at this point, despite that odd quote.  If he backed out now, all hell would break loose, and there’s really no better candidate waiting in the wings IMHO.

      1. I think it’s BS too. The problem is not that there’s a better candidate to replace BS, the problem is that the Repubs don’t have anyone who can win. So they might as well let the base have their choice.

    3. One of the worst thing Eid has going for him is A.G. Gonzales’ support of him.  That nice quote in the Denver Post would be good material for an attack ad.  Maybe Eid can get a good quote from Cheney and Rumsfield too.

      Being U.S. attorney has lost a lot of its prestige and luster–don’t they all look like political hacks now?

      1. If Troy Eid’s buddy Jack Abramoff is out of jail by than he can help his campaign.

        Schaffer is dead man running. Who does the GOP turn to and when is the only question? Bob will be given a decent burial but he will be out before Halloween. 

        The Republicans are smart enough to suck it up and back Brown. A seat in the US Senate is too valuable to throw away.

        1. I don’t think it’s really accurate to paint Eid with the Abramoff brush. GT is a HUGE international law firm. Didn’t their times of service at GT barely overlap? That’s one smear that’s always bugged me.

          1. Jack helped ot recruit Eid and they both worked on Indian Gaming cases together. However, to be fair the FBI cleared Eid of any wrongdoing.

            The National Senate Campaign Committee will not care the slightest about Measure C. All they care about is regaining the Majority. 


            What date does Schaffer withdraw?

            What will be his excuse for not running?

            Who will the GOP choose to run?

            Or, is there anyone actually out there who thinks that Schaffer is viable?

            1. BS will say he is leaving the race to spend more time with his family. “I love Colorado, Colorado is my home, and I care deeply about the state. At this time, however, my family needs me more than the U.S. Senate does, and so I am withdrawing from the race. A heartfelt thanks to all my supporters … blah blah blah …”

              What a selfless individual!

  8. What a response to Pinon Canyon and he has actually been in the City of Las Animas in Bent County for a Lincoln Day Luncheon with Marilyn Musgrave as the speaker, opposing the expansion with ranchers and others of the Opposition. He set at the table and ate lunch with them. Sounds like “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” at that event.

    I hope the other’s mentioned, as possibly running, become well informed and consider the full ramifications of the Pinon Canyon Expansion issue. It IS a major Colorado issue.
    Do we want Colorado to be perceived as a military training ground for the world and this is exactly where the military is going in its planning, but, oh, we have mountains, skiing, Denver and Colorado Springs left.

    Economically, it is about perception and becoming a military state, the primary economy, if you look at how much land is owned. Is this what is really good for the state?

  9. No way Owens or Brown even considers it. Jane Norton is a possibility, but you’d have to think Suthers would be the first to jump if Bob dropped out.

  10.   He’s a candidate…..except when he isn’t a candidate yet!  Or was he an announced candidate before he became an unannounced candidate?
      This is almost as confusing as trying to understand where Beauprez stood on Ref. C/D, or where Romney stands on reproductive choice.

      1. without having to resort to vulgarity.

        I have noticed that the writing style from the Pols has changed over the last few months. I don’t know if there is a new Guv writing or if they have finally let go of any pretense of trying to be an unbiased, legitimate source. I think the change started when a large number of the articles were pulled from Daily Kos or from Square State.  Just my observation. Go ahead and flame me as I am sure you will.

          1. It just seems that any time that someone says there is a bias, either conservative or liberal, there is a flamewar that follows of “is-not, is-too”.

            1. Pols should maybe have a conservative counterpart to David Sirota post here frequently.  A local well-known Colorado person who puts up diaries from time to time and blogs here, with a conservative viewpoint, would be good.

              1. there was darkness… sorry, too easily side-tracked.

                There used to be posts from various people who identified who they were, sort of. I remember Redhawk, who we later found out was Laura Teal. Jason Bane who was one of the dead-guvs. They even brought in “average voter guy” who lasted a few weeks. I guess average voters aren’t as passionate as the rest of us.

                Maybe you are right and they need to try that approach again.

                1. instead of giving someone the proverbial “keys to the car” like they did with Teal (remember how that turned out?) why not write diaries? That’s all that Sirota is doing and Pols is promoting them. Heck, even I got a diary promoted. Anyone can make a diary “recommended”. I’d encourage my Republican friends to spend some time crafting well thought-out diaries and post them consistently. I think Pols would be happy to promote well written diaries that have a GOP slant.

        1. And so sad.  Pols used to at least give the appearance of fairness.  Now it is an uber-lackey for the folks over at Colorado Confidential.

          Oh well.

            1. Again, “testicular fortitude” lacks class and is a blatant attack.

              Emphasizing the “‘Splaining” and not mentioning the AAG’s opinion at all also shows a slant.

              1. it wasn’t a formal opinion. It was an offhand comment in which he openly admits that
                1. he hasn’t studied the fact pattern and
                2. that the violation could very well be a federal election law issue and not in his purview

                why emphasize that? what he said carries no legal weight and is admittedly not based on a reading of the facts.

              2. No one is forced to stay here, and as I’ve pointed out many times, Pols has never claimed to be unbiased.  So why be angry at them.

                And “testicular fortitude” gets you upset?  Oh, come on.  I presume everyone posting here is over 18, just due to the topics. Jeesh.

                1. Sounds like someone who would complain that the word “scrotum” appears in an award-winning children’s book. Someone who would infantilize us all, and tell us, fifty years after Lenny Bruce, what we can and can’t say in public.

        2. But I’m not sure if it’s pro-liberal or anti-incompetent as either approach would explain the recent tilt.

          We’ll have to wait for some good news for Republicans and/or some quality candidates and then we will be able to determine which it is.

  11. For the 60,000 eligible voters of Bent, Prowers and Baca Counties who are in CD-4, and the 2,000 in Otero County, PCMS expansion is a big deal.  It is the #1 issue for less than half of them, though. 

    Like the rest of the country, for most folks, Issue #1 is the Iraq War. 

    So, with over 500,000 eligible to vote in the District, and 320,000 likely voters,
    This is NOT the hottest topic. 

    Ps: the solution to this issue is not that hard. 
    All the Army needs are 20 to 50 “islands” of land, ranging from 100 to 640 acres, dotted throughout the area designated for possible expansion. 
    They only need overflight rights for less than one quarter of the rest, and I think ranchers are willing to sell those, with restrictions. 
    So the Army only needs to acquire far less than 10% of the land under study. 
    And they will need to be able to drive over public roads, but they might already have that right. 

      As soon as folks settle down and realize that the Army is not going to be asking for any Eminent Domain authority, this will get worked out quickly. 
    This has gone on too long, with too much misunderstanding, because a couple of lawyers are trying to cash in on a fleeting opportunity they created to enrich themselves. 

    1.   I am envisioning big tanks rumbling over the landscape lobbing ordinance for miles about, mass troop movements etc.  How do realistic exercises get accomplished on the fragmented space you describe?

        Assuming you are correct, your solution underscores the root problem, which is total failure of US Army to effectively define, rationalize, and communicate their needs to the public, speaking to either woeful incompetence or gross arrogance, or both.

    2. Where do you get this idea about “islands”?  I haven’t seen that in any of the coverage.  Do you have a source?  Pretty much everything I’ve seen indicates 400,000+ acres are to be acquired.  I don’t even see how you could do training with tanks and whatnot on islands of 1 square mile or less.

      And even then, you say the Army “only needs overflight rights” on some other land.  I’m not sure that the people out there care to have Army aircraft buzzing overhead.  I don’t imagine these will be high-altitude flights.  I would expect them to be training for helicopter drops and whatnot.

      1. I grew up right next door to Bellows Air Base and we would sometimes have helicoptors skimming in from the water and right over our house.

        And one time a group of Navy seals in training ended up on our beach instead of Bellows (there was a sharp point of rocks between us and them on the shore). So these guys came ashore in full combat gear with all of us kids runnign around them.

        Anyways, I don’t remember anyone ever complaining about it. Of course, the Navy has been in Hawaii “forever.”

        1.   I used to live on Miramar NAS flight path the jet jockeys took to maneuvers offshore from San Diego. They would run the coastal canyons to practice avoiding radar, then they would really stand on it once they crossed the beach–made a helluva racket.  Where I live now they periodically blast over downtown Denver at high speed and relatively low altitude.  It is quite annoying and I would not want to be subjected to that on a regular basis. 

    3. At the public meetings with the military and in their own documents, they constantly refer to need for large tracks of “contiguous land” for training, hence the 418,000 acres for Phase One.



      By the way, no one is settling down. Visit the PCEOC booth at the Colorado State Fair and see for yourself.

  12. Alan Keyes for CO Senate ’08, anyone?

    Maybe Bob’s having short-term memory issues?  I mean, if I were running for Senate, I think I’d remember filing my FEC forms and making at least two announcements.

    I understand Schaffer’s a bit reluctant to discuss controversial subjects that touch on his campaign, but I thought the matter of running/not running was pretty clear-cut.

    Does Republican Kool-Aid have a previously unknown deterioration date?  ‘Cause the GOP’s been acting really weird lately.

    1. What I find funny is the multi-step process Schaffer is taking to announce his candidacy. One importnat missing aspect of this semi-senatorial campaign, is having an understand of the issues.

      Basically, Schaffer is telling people; “give me money, and find out later where I stand on the most important issues facing this state.”

      Oh BS, you’re such a jokester!

    2. What about when he said “Next year” and “when”? Does he not remember announcing (twice!) for this race?

      I like Bob Loevy’s response too,
      “But Bob Loevy, professor of political science at Colorado College, said excessively long campaigns lead to extreme scrutiny of candidates’ words. The senate race is more than a year away.

      ‘My feeling is that he misspoke, the campaign manager corrected it and that’s the end of it,’ Loevy said.”

      Yes long campaigns for extremely important elected positions like United States Senator can lead to scrutiny of the candidates words. That is how we, the voting public, make a determination of such details as the candidates position on issues as well as get a feeling for their level of competency and intelligence.

      You know your campaign is in trouble when 13+ months out people are already using the “long campaign” excuse to cover for your screw-ups.

      How about some coverage from Couch on the fact that a US Senate candidate from Colorado has, apparently, no opinion on Pinon Canyon? What does Bob Loevy think of candidates who misspeak and also lack positions on major issues?

        1. What’s even more suspicious is that Schaffer is failing to answer for anything. He’s going missing after just about every step of this campaign. He’s making a showing as one of the least reliable candidates out there.

          BS is going to be giving his supporters heartburn everystep of the way. Is there any cure for that? Pepto perhaps?

      1. What does he think of Pinon Canyon.  If he is running or thinks he may run he has to answer that question.

        He could have taken a ‘we need to balance the rights of land owners with our duty to protect our nation’ approach

        He could have taken ‘in our war against terror some sacrifices will have to be made, some with their lives, other will have to contribute in other ways’

        He could have said ‘I recognize the need for our military to train and the job benefits to certain areas of colorado an expansion would mean, but I have seen no compelling reason for the government to seize the land of family farmers some who have been on the land for over 100 years’

        Instead he said I am too chicken shit to give a real answer.

          1. …along the lines of “it” meaning “sex.”  It’s been almost a decade, so maybe the memory is slipping, but I recall something about “What is sex?”

  13. The Rocky Mountain News has it right this Thursday morning in describing Colorado Pols as “left leaning” in the article describing the verbal blunder of BS.  How about “left falling over”?  Thank you Lynn Bartles.

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