Throwing Darts, Picking Names Out of Hats

It is always amusing, and somewhat irritating, when national pundits decide to take a gander at political races in Colorado with very little understanding of what is actually possible plausible in our state. The dead giveaway that a national outlet is clueless about Colorado is when they start mentioning candidates for higher office based solely on the fact that they hold another office currently…and particularly whenever the name Doug Lamborn comes up. For example, here's the national conservative site RedState running down Colorado's Senate "race" in 2014:

There are still names out there who could possibly mount a decent challenge to Udall. The first is former representative and gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez. Another, but unlikely choice, is Representative Doug Lamborn who may be just a tad too conservative for a changing state like Colorado. He additionally carries some baggage that Udall would capitalize on- his “tar baby” comment, his refusal to attend the 2012 State of the Union address, and his inadvertent and innocent release of classified national security information in a speech on the House floor. Then there is former Governor Bill Owens who had a lot of success as Governor cutting taxes, improving educational accountability, and improving transportation in his first term. Although his second term was lackluster, he left office a fairly popular figure. State senator Owen Hill and state treasurer Walker Stapleton have also been mentioned, but they are dark horses at best and would not likely be on anyone’s top 3 list. [all bold emphasis per Colorado Pols]

In the previous paragraph (not quoted here), RedState mentions that Ken Buck, Rep. Mike Coffman, and Rep. Cory Gardner have all declined to challenge Sen. Mark Udall in 2014, but those are the clear and obvious politicos to mention. With the exception of Bob Beauprez, who has been on-the-record about considering the U.S. Senate race, the paragraph above is basically formed around pulling names out of a hat…

Lamborn is the embodiment of this nonsense approach to long-distance prognosticating. Lamborn could NEVER win a statewide race; he knows this, and he'll never try for something bigger. Lamborn is only in Congress because he made it through a six-way Republican primary to gain a seat that is unwinnable for a non-Republican candidate. He is so politically weak, in fact, that he has had a legitimate primary challenger in every cycle since his initial victory in 2006. Out-of-state pundits often mention Lamborn's name as a potential candidate for higher office because they see that he is one of the only Republicans to have held onto a top tier seat for several consecutive years, but there is no greater meaning behind that fact.

Former Governor Bill Owens is often mentioned because he is the last Republican to have been elected as either Governor or Senator, but he's not running for office again and has not hinted otherwise. Stapleton will be lucky to be re-elected as State Treasurer, if he chooses to run again. And Owen Hill? He's no more remarkable than any other Republican legislator, which says plenty. And then there's this:

The final possibility is former Lt. Governor Jane Norton. [Pols emphasis] She was the establishment choice against the Tea Party favorite Ken Buck in 2010 and narrowly lost the primary after making the decision not to attend the party convention to get her name on the ballot. A developing GOP senatorial power broker- Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire- has been talking her up of late and chaired a recent fundraiser to retire her 2010 campaign debt. Personally, this may be Norton’s year, but Owens would likely be a better challenger against Udall. It will take an effort since Udall comes off as many describe as a "real Colorado guy."

Huh? First of all, Norton's decision "not to attend the party convention" doesn't have much to do with the reason she lost to Buck (and you can debate whether she would have even made it onto the ballot had she tried). We also have a hard time believing that Sen. Kelly Ayotte is "talking up" Norton for a 2014 run. Ayotte's primary motivation for helping Norton retire her 2010 campaign debt has more to do with the fact that GOP bigwig Charlie Black is Norton's brother-in-law. If Norton wanted to run for Senate in 2014, she wouldn't need someone to "talk her up," because nobody else is even running. Norton made it pretty clear after her 2010 loss to Buck that she was unlikely to run for public office again, and we have heard nothing to indicate otherwise. "Personally, this may be Norton's year…" What the hell does that mean?

Frankly, the most relevant information in this RedState rundown is the final line: Udall is going to be tough to beat in 2014. Period.


20 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Aristotle says:

    He [Lamborn] is so politically weak, in fact, that he has had a legitimate primary challenger in every cycle since his initial victory in 2006.

    He has? I remember 2008 (Crank) and 2012 (Blaha), but thought he had no challenge in 2010.

    That's just a side note. On topic, don't worry, ArapaGOrP promised drama and excitement. Just you wait. Just all of us wait. Our days of running roughshod over the state are through!

  2. ClubTwitty says:

    Lamborn too conseravtive?  Maybe, just a "tad."  Now Both Ways would be fun…

    As for spilling national secrets on the Floor of Congress…Yes, it was 'inadvertant.'  Just becaseu he sits on the relevant committee doesn't mean we can expect him to know stuff. 

  3. Gray in Mountains says:

    what is Jane doing these days?

  4. Craig says:

    Frankly, a . . . "Republican" would probably do a whole lot better that any of the dumies mentioned.  People would give . . . the benefit of think s/he is smart and articulate.  That . . .. cares about people and will listen to the folks back home in Colorado.  That . . . well, you get the point, there are no . . .'s left in the Colroado Republican,k so they'd actually be better off to just pick a generic R of the statewide voter list and run him/her.

    Wait, that sounds a lot like my plan for elecdtions of the future.  A lottery for every office and the loser has to serve, but can only serve for one six year term, then they have to retire and go home and face the lottery again.


    Hmmmm.  A thought for today's "Republicans."

  5. davebarnes says:

    Bill Owens would be the best (from a vote getting point of view) candidate.

    • BlueCat says:

      I don't think Owens is viable as a candidate for anything anymore. Even though, if nobody else wants it, he wouldn't have to worry about getting past a primary challenge, something he couldn't do with any kind of serious and more wacko candidate in the GOP running,  wacko being the current base's favorite kind.  Re-entering elected politics would no doubt bring a lot of scrutiny he probably would just as soon not have to deal with.

      • ClubTwitty says:

        Probably so.  I still think davebarnes is correct.  On that list.  If he could make it through the Primary.  I might even send Tancredo some cash, knock on some doors.  (Not really, the man loves to run.  Thank God he is truly doing Colorado a favor.  Again). 

  6. davebarnes says:

    John Love?

    I know that (in theory) dead people can't vote, but is there any rule against voting for a dead person?

  7. UglyAmerican says:

    If we are rolling with popular dead Rs I humbly submit Jack Swigert, who didn't get the chance to serve his 1st term as a Representative.

  8. Gray in Mountains says:

    John Andrews is begging to be asked

    • BlueCat says:

      Speaking of Andrews, we'll probably be seeing a lot more of him on the Post editorial page and a lot less of any local liberal leaning commentary. Although we could hardly get any less of that.  In fact we pretty much already get all liberal leaning commentary from nationally syndicated, not local, voices, while local righties have plenty of representation on the editorial page. So much so that, in the context of the editorial page,  the Post can now claim that Carroll actually is centrist.

      Whatever names the Rs pull out of the hat, the next round of Post endorsements ought to be even more laughable than usual. If you haven't read today's "even handed" article on Gessler in the regular news section yet, don't bother. Why ruin your day?

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