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May 12, 2011 08:28 PM UTC

Romer: Hancock is "Politics As Usual"

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  • by: Colorado Pols

Folks, we hear that phrase “politics as usual” bandied about quite often. If anything, it communicates that there is a sincere distrust of government amongst the electorate. Candidates just love to use it because it implies that they’re the kind of politician you can trust.

We knew we wouldn’t have to wait for too long to hear the phrase in this year’s Mayoral race, and lo and behold, here’s one of Chris Romer’s latest ads, this time using television to target Michael Hancock and his pay raise vote:

If you wonder why we have Chris Romer slightly ahead of Michael Hancock on the Denver Line, this is the reason. Romer has the money to be able to craft an ad like this and run it in heavy rotation. He can hit Hancock where it hurts. Of course, nobody loves negative campaigning, but the fact of the matter is that it resonates with the voting public. Even a phrase as tired as “politics as usual.”

Like we said, in order to win, Hancock needs to be able to come up with an antidote to attack ads like these. It’s a nasty attack, but it’s going to be effective in portraying Hancock’s vote on the pay raise as corrupt and irresponsible. Hancock’s trying his best with the message that he’s the candidate that is trusted by the people who know Denver. Unfortunately, as we wrote about yesterday, that “insider” messaging lets Romer hit him harder where it hurts.

You know, we never thought this race would turn into one where the son of a former Governor portrays himself as an “outsider.” But Hancock’s messaging combined with his voting record lets Romer frame the race: Hancock becomes a corrupt, irresponsible candidate responsible for “politics as usual.” Meanwhile, Romer, a former State Senator and icon in his own right becomes the “outsider” candidate.

As odd as that may seem, Romer’s raised the money to be able to frame the race however he wants. Fundraising is important because it denotes a broad range of support, but also because if you blow all the other candidates out of the water in fundraising, you can make yourself the frontrunner by setting the tone of the race.  

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