Should Andrew Romanoff Get a Do-Over?

Andrew Romanoff.

Andrew Romanoff.

Roll Call's Abby Livingston jump-started speculation about the 2016 CD-6 race yesterday:

There’s no rest for the weary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has yet to name the new committee chairman for 2016, but the DCCC is already getting a jump on recruiting during the final days of New York Rep. Steve Israel’s tenure.

On Thursday morning, Israel held the first 2016 recruitment meeting since Election Day. He named two northeastern congressional districts as top targeting opportunities, and party strategists are readying for at least five rematches from 2014, according to a committee aide…

Two unsuccessful Democratic candidates from 2014 will be asked to make another run — former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, who lost to Rep. Mike Coffman, [Pols emphasis] and Maine state Sen. Emily Cain, who lost an open-seat race to Rep.-elect Bruce Poliquin.

This was the first word we've heard that Andrew Romanoff, who lost heavily in last week's elections to Republican incumbent Rep. Mike Coffman, might be recruited for a 2016 rematch. This report touched off another round of speculation about Romanoff's viability in local press–FOX 31's Eli Stokols:

Romanoff, who sat out 2012 and then announced his decision to challenge Coffman in 2014 almost as soon as the calendar turned to 2013 and spent the full two-year cycle raising an impressive $5 million, only garnered 43 percent of the vote in the re-drawn district.

But he lost by nine points amidst a GOP wave after failing to make inroads with blue collar voters in Adams County and to overcome Coffman’s withwering portrayal of the former statehouse Speaker as a self-interested carpetbagger who moved from Denver to the suddenly competitive district simply because he saw it as a way to get to Washington.

The Denver Post's Jon Murray:

While Andrew Romanoff isn’t saying much about his plans following his loss last week to Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, D.C. news outlet Roll Call reported Thursday that House Democrats will mount an effort to recruit him to run again in 2016.

That would be against the advice of some Colorado political observers and Democratic activists, who told The Denver Post in a story this week that Romanoff ought to consider stepping back from politics for a while. He’s lost two hard-fought races in a row…

Through his campaign spokeswoman, Romanoff declined to comment Thursday. But the DCCC reiterated to The Post that he was a strong candidate this year, despite his 52 percent-43 percent loss.

We've been pretty blunt in our assessment that Romanoff underperformed in this election–relative to other Democrats on the ballot with him, and certainly below the high expectations he had going into this race. We have given credit to Romanoff for dramatically exceeding expectations with regard to fundraising, but Romanoff's bland and centrist campaign message failed to motivate base Democrats to support him. After 2012 underdog Joe Miklosi came within two points of ousting Coffman, Romanoff's drubbing has turned Coffman into one of the state's stronger Republican candidates for higher office.

Apropos, Eli Stokols notes early speculation that Coffman may run against Sen. Michael Bennet in 2016, which would open the CD-6 seat and once again create a prime opportunity for Democrats to pick it up. In that event, would Romanoff be the best choice to try again, or would Democrats be smarter to turn to others in this district? Stokols mentions Senate President Morgan Carroll as a possible contender, as well as Karen Middleton–the former state legislator who at one point was set to challenge Romanoff for the Democratic CD-6 nomination but then withdrew from the race.

What say you, readers? We'd guess there are a number of people reading who would like your opinion.

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  1. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    No more Mister Nice Guys.
    No more boring and bland.
    Let's see someone with fire.

  2. SocialisticatProgressicat says:

    Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

  3. ZMulls says:

    If the DCCC wants to guarantee defeat in CD-6, it will foist Romanoff on the Democratic voters of CD-6 once again in 2016.  Fellow Dems I know in the 6th, for the most part, (metaphorically) held their noses and voted for Romanoff.  But, each of them knew straight-ticket Dem voters there who did not.

    It would make sense that many of the Latino Dem voters in the 6th were unimpressed by Romanoff's seeming change of heart on immigration issues, after he proudly led the draconian anti-immigrant policies enacted by the state legislature.  Fluency in Spanish does not equate to fluency in the issues that matter to Latinos.  And, his odd choice to lead off his campaign with Third Way-style bunk about balancing the deficit was a strong indicator of just how out-of-touch he was with his own potential constituency.  

    Would a different candidate have won against Coffman?  Impossible to say; but, it is hard to imagine any marginally competent and inoffensive candidate doing worse than Romanoff, if given the same warchest.

    Do us a favor, DCCC–let locals do more to choose their candidate in '16.  And, Andrew, you really ought to listen to astute analysts like Sondermann, and take an extended break from politics.  No one is entitled to hold political office.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Ok . . . you had me all the way up to, "astute analysts like Sondermann" (which caused me to reflux my morning coffee).

      • ZMulls says:

        Hey, if I'm batting .800, I'll take that.  

        • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

          You are not…there is a word…"mostly". I recommend its use. So .795, maybe.smiley

          I agree with you about Andrew. While I am one of his biggest fans, I am not so much a fan of his advisors, or his judgment of late. I know Andrew to be a very sincere and dedicated public servant. I have worked with him in a legislative setting. And, since Blue Cat is taking a break, I might safely put in a word about my continuing support for his stance on eschewing the taking of PAC money.

          Long ago Andrew and I spoke of the return of populism to American politics. The time is now to raise that banner. I heard a Republican pundit speak yesterday of the plans they have to create a populist movement against the President, which they can, no doubt, buy, as long as the Democrats leave it laying on the table.

          If the Democratic party continues to hang on the teat of Wall Street, and allow the Blue Dogs to chain them to a center right tree, the Republican plutocrats will have it in the bag…if they can contain the continually upstart Tea Party…their crazy, populist, wing.

          Until Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders come to understand that only their combined efforts can prevail against the "Free Market Experiment", we will continue to slide ever closer to the point of no return. Does anyone doubt the American aristocrats and their Taliban Duck Mullahs wouldn't hesitate to start a race war if they could get it going? There is money to be made in a disaster…think of the gun sales….

          I guess the primary reason I don't think Andrew should run again for awhile is that a man with his skills and talents on a bunch of fools who would elect Mike Coffman. Take a break Andrew. Enjoy the time…

           

          • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

            damn…

            skills and talents shouldn't be wasted on a bunch of fools

          • SocialisticatProgressicat says:

            Speaking of hitting .795…

            Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders can't combine against the "Free Market Experiment" because they want such incredibly divergent results.  I believe that Paul would actually prefer the current system of so-called "crony capitalism" to any alternative except the one he wants– total removal of government from the commercial sphere.  They only reason Randians (see, it's in the name) are opposed to corporations using the levers of government to stifle and oppress is because that means by definition that government is working in the commercial arena.  Absent the total freedom to rain down whatever horrors corporations and wealthy individuals see fit on society, government manipulation through wealth application is the next best thing.

            It's so very important not to equate the populism of the right, generally in the form of libertarianism or theocracy, with the populism of the left, which drives more toward socialism.  They cannot be substituted one-for-the-other– even when the strains result in the same message (no government spying, end banking system abuses, etc.)– because the worlds they conceive of are so utterly different.  And, when people have signed up with one group or another, they're going to follow along until they're in too deep to realize that they plunged into the Islamic State or the Hunger Games.

            • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

               They cannot be substituted one-for-the-other– even when the strains result in the same message (no government spying, end banking system abuses, etc.)– because the worlds they conceive of are so utterly different.

              True enough, hence the current impasse. All the while, both sides are getting fleeced by the aristocracy.

              There are areas of commonality, but they remain unexploited and the raging over morality continues unabated….

  4. nota33 says:

    Yes, 2016 will be a much higher turnout and the GOP will receive the bloodbath they deserve. 😉

  5. itlduso says:

    I would like to see another former Colorado Speaker of the House run in CD 6 — Terrance Carroll. 

  6. Molly Brown says:

    No. Fresh faces needed. Romanoff has an impressive record of leadership, but higher elected office is just not in the cards for him. I can't imagine he'd even want to run another race.

  7. CongressmanHaircut says:

    I'd like to see him sit the next couple of rounds out, live somewhere for a while, and run in 6-8 years.

    We can't miss you if you won't leave, Andrew.

  8. DavieDavie says:

    As a long-time supporter/former constituent of Andrew's, I have to admit, while once in office, he's a good leader, as a campaigner, he's only won elections in a safe district (HD6), and for some reason fails to appeal to a broader base of voters.

    He could have competed with Udall in 2008 for the US Senate seat, and he could have challenged Ritter in 2010, or Miklosi in 2012 and had a pretty good shot at any of those offices given either Dem wave years or the Colo GOP 2010 implosion.  But that's 20/20 hindsight.

    My advice for Andrew is to seek a non-elective, but significant post in either Colorado or Washington where your experience, intelligence, morals and positive nature will benefit the most people possible.  Make some money, save it up as you always have, and then if you feel you have the time and interest, run for office again in a few years when nice guys might finish first for a change.

  9. Andrew Carnegie says:

    Great Idea.  

    Nothing says new and exciting like a retread loser.

    Have the DCCC pick your candidate who does not live in the district and just lost badly.  

    Maybe he can take some money away from someone else who has a chance at winning.

    God I love the DCCC.

  10. ZappateroZappatero says:

    This (surprise) caught my eye:

    Eli Stokols notes early speculation that Coffman may run against Sen. Michael Bennet in 2016.

    Now, will Michael "Both Sides Do It" Bennet continue to be the whiniest of our United States Senators, will he act as a true Democrat, or will he pretend to be a Republican in search of those Unicorn-like Independents we always hear of?

    I have a suspicion of what he'll do.

    • DavieDavie says:

      Call me jaded, but I seriously doubt that should Coffman decide to run for Senate it would have any effect on Bennet's actions.  He will have his hands full reacting to and leading the Dems' response to the newly radicalized GOP senate majority's actions.  I suspect we may need his influence in peeling off several GOP senators that haven't completely gone mad to form a coalition to prevent the worst excesses of the Republican leadership and the Tea Party.

      Besides, I don't think Coffman's "duck and cover" campaign style will play well across the state, and in a Presidential election year, he won't get much help from another GOP wave.

      • DavieDavie says:

        It's not like it's a big surprise or anything:

        Bennet had endorsed Keystone in a symbolic 2013 budget vote.

        Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/michael-bennet-brings-senates-pro-keystone-count-to-59-112906.html#ixzz3J4sVBWKn

        • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

          The question for some of us is what (if anything) are the Dem's going to extract as concessions for moving ahead with this?  An increased RFS standard? (let's take it to E-22, the number our manufacturers say is 'optimum'). Cap-and Dividend? National RES? A promise to extend wind PTC's?  A coal-industry buy-out?  Legalize industrial hemp for our farmers?

          From a Colorado perspective I'm not sure why anyone from this state supports the project.  Bloomberg Finance predicts it will raise the price of gasoline in Colorado by 20 cents; we already employ more than 200x (more than 4,000) the number of anticipated permanent jobs that come with the pipeline (22) in our booming wind energy sector. 

          Stop looking back – we're not going that way.
           

          • DavieDavie says:

            Excellent points.  That's the whole idea behind bipartisanship (or at least it used to be).  I hope Bennet is listening.

          • ZMulls says:

            I am done with Bennet.  I've held my nose and voted for Democrats from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party plenty of times; but, climate change is akin to the abortion issue for me:  a line that no Democratic candidate should cross.  Bennet crossed that line, unforgivably and for sheer political purposes.  And yes, his support does matter even if Obama's going to veto such legislation:  every Dem senator who adds their support further legitimizes an illegitimate, dangerous, short-sighted project.

            I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in ending my support for Bennet–and I expect to hear much more in the near future from climate change activists about this.  Bennet ought to worry, because he can't take the active and growing environmental wing of his constituency for granted any more.

          • bullshit!bullshit! says:

            RIght now, he's doing this to support Landrieu. It's probably not going to work, but he's a company man.

        • ZMulls says:

          Oh, trust me–I was NOT surprised.  Just…disappointed, that my worst suspicions about Bennet were true.

          He'll land feet-up, in a cush lobbying/bankster job.  His type always do.

    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      Please God, let Coffman run.   I made about 2,000 phone calls for Bennet in 2010.  Against Coffman, four or five ought to do itwink

  11. ModeratusModeratus says:

    One thing's for sure, Coffman is for real. If he wants to take on Bennet in 2016 it's his race.

    • Big Time says:

      It's his unless Bennet takes a hard left turn … now that we have two Republicans (Establishment circa 1970 and Tea Party circa 1823) in the Senate, Colorado will want a liberal for sure, especially after Gardner has had a chance to make Colorado proud. 

  12. NotHopeful says:

    I like Andrew Romanoff and I think he was an excellent speaker of the state house. But I don't think he should run in CD-6 again. First of all, he's too centrist. Second of all, he really does not have roots there.

    I favor one of the two Carrolls – Morgan or Terrence.

    As for Bennet, I'm disappointed that he continues to be swayed by the idiotic "be Republican-lite" approach. Voting for the Keystone pipeline will not motivate the Democratic base to support him.

    I'm sure Mark Udall is asking himself "what if?" right now. What if he had widely trumpeted his progressive point of view and the achievements of the Obama administration? Mr. Bennet should not lose sight of the fact that progressives win.

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