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January 23, 2015 10:43 AM UTC

Is Scott Tipton Really Looking at Senate in 2016?

  • 39 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols
Rep. Scott Tipton (R)
Rep. Scott Tipton (R)

It's been about a week since an advisor to Republican Rep. Scott Tipton floated his name for U.S. Senate in 2016, and things have been quiet ever since. This seems to have been an effort to just throw Tipton's name out in the mix, rather than a true trial balloon, but is there more to last week's story in The Hill newspaper:

“Congressman Tipton was honored to have been elected to serve a third term and is focused on fighting for the issues that matter most to Colorado's 3rd Congressional District,” a political adviser to Tipton told The Hill. “But Congressman Tipton isn't ruling out any options down the road that would enable him to have the greatest impact possible for the people of the State of Colorado.”

Former Colorado Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams said Thursday that Tipton would be a strong candidate.

“He beat a respected Democrat in a Democratic county with a big chunk of Hispanic voters,” Wadhams said. “If he wanted to run for Senate, he would be a very credible candidate.”

It's not at all uncommon for elected officials to float their names for future office, whether they really have any intention of running or not. It increases Tipton's political influence to be mentioned as a potential candidate for Senate, and it is also a nice little ego boost. But the lack of any serious follow-up news in the 10 days since The Hill story does make us wonder if there is anything more to this besides name-floating.

Tipton would be an interesting candidate in 2016 should he decide to challenge Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, though we doubt he'd be able to clear the Republican field first. Tipton represents a huge geographical area in the sprawling CD-3, but he has largely toiled outside of the Denver Metro media market and would have a lot of work to do just to raise his name ID. On the other hand, Tipton does have some personal wealth that he could tap into for a Senate run, and Republicans wouldn't have to worry about losing his seat in a General Election as CD-3 looks to be solidly in the red column (and there would be plenty of Republicans looking at CD-3 who would offer Tipton encouragement to move along).

Comments

39 thoughts on “Is Scott Tipton Really Looking at Senate in 2016?

            1. 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                  1. Yep, I watched the show as a kid.  Those were the days when every local TV station also had their own locally produced kid show (it was the weatherman in costume at the Miami station I watched).

    1. Agree. I don't know how many doors you'd have to knock on to find somebody who knows there's a guy named Bennet who is our Senator.  As for Tipton, the less voters know about him the better. It worked for Gardner. 

      Never having held political office of any kind or even having lived very long in Colorado prior to being appointed and then elected Senator, I'd say Bennet probably has lower name rec right now than any former Colorado Senator had while running for re-election as Bennet will be in 2016. A Dem Presidential candidate who really rocks young, minority and women voters will  get him re-elected.

      1. Many, including myself, are still pissedd that Obama interfered in a Democratic primary to promote Bennet over Romanoff in 2010. Yes, I know the candidates weren't far apart politically, and that Romanoff ran a crap campaign. Still, the Federal Chief Exec has no business mixing in a statewide primary. I hope the Feds stay out of the Colorado Senate race in 2016. Unlikely, I know.

        As far as Tipton goes, he is a master of double speak – "green energy jobs" means mining on public lands, lumber mills in national forests, "compassionate, step by step immigration process" means more money for border security and a guest worker program. He can be personally charming, while saying almost nothing of substance. He's actually pretty boring as a speaker. 

        A tough talking progressive Dem who can show a real personality and policy contrast with Tipton, and has a well-organized media and grassroots campaign would stand a good chance of election, either in CD3 or in the Senate race.

        If they try to go "Republican Lite" against Tipton, progressives will sleep through the election, just like 2014.

         

        1. Of course the President and his supporters are going to have input with a Dem Guv on appointments. Romanoff was in the HRC camp and Bennet was much admired by team Obama.  Also, I remember hearing at the time that Ritter and Romanoff were far from besties so nobody had to twist Ritter's arm.  That's politics. If it's true (I certainly don't know this for fact but it wouldn't surprise me) that Romanoff  and Ritter didn't like each other much then he shouldn't have been shocked not to be appointed. In any case, he's had two chances since then to prove he can win something that isn't handed to him on a silver platter and came up empty. If a balanced federal budget requirement was one of his top priorities as it seemed to be judging from his first big ad, I think it's time for sensible progressives to stop being so pissed off on his account  He's just another DLC triangulating centrist.  Why so much angst? 

          1. I Think Romanoff was a great speaker of the House but, yes, it's true that he wasn't best friends with Ritter.  But Romanoff was also, as you say, a centrist.  To me, that was a very good thing but never quite understood why so many left-leaning dems sighed for him.  I still think he has tremendous talent and hope to see him again in a public office.  But after leaning first to Romo, I did back Bennet in that primary, because I felt Romanoff's no money from pacs pledge would make it very hard to elect him.    I always oppose unilateral disarmament.  

            1. Agree with you on all counts and did the same. I like Andrew but I never understood how the base convinced themselves that he was a lefty champion. Obama was a centrist too. At this point, however, I don't want to see him running for anything but a vacant safe Dem congressional seat. I don't think he can win anything else.

          2. Specific candidates aside, – It's the principle that the Feds have no business mixing into a state level primary. I gather it's legal, but it seems wrong. 

            State voters have a better sense of who is electable and best represents their views and interests, rather  than the President, or some party hack in DC. 

            I don't want Dems to allow this manipulation again in the 2016 Senate race. I can pretty much guarantee that I'm not going to like anyone that is a favorite of Frackenlooper's, and Bennet's got to show some progressive mojo if he wants any enthusiasm from volunteers or voters. 

            1. You don't seriously expect that these decisions are made based on high principles.  Of course the input is going to be more than just local. Appointments shuffle the deck.  Whether majorities can be held on to if a Congressman or Senator is removed by appointment to the cabinet by the person appointed to fill the slot or the bench available for a special election are national level considerations.  I'm sure the input goes both ways from guvs to the President's team and President's team to guvs. And if you hope a guv is going to appoint you to something some day you probably should get on that guv's good side. 

              1. It's not that I expect NO high level input – but Romanoff swept the caucuses 51-42. Then Obama and Bennet made a deal, and suddenly OFA was all up in the primary working for Bennet. Within a month, the numbers turned around for Bennet.

                It pretty much says to people who bothered to turn out for the caucuses:

                "We have no respect for your silly little state democratic processes – we have already picked your candidate, so STFU."

                How exactly is this OK again?

                Again, it doesn't really matter which specific candidates we're talking about.  Los Federales  ignore the will of grassroots Dems at their peril. I do truly hope they have learned their lesson.

                1. That's hardly  a realistic view  of what happened. Candidates who win the caucus because they appeal to the politically active base very often lose the primary. Ken Salazar lost to Mike Miles in the 2004 caucus and pretty much nobody expected him to lose the primary. Good thing too because Miles wouldn't have had a snowball's chance in hell. It's because of the difference between the majority of active base caucus voters and the majority of primary voters.

                  I was a Bennet supporter and trust me; we all knew Romanoff would win the caucus but were confident Bennet would win the primary just like Salazar won after being beaten by Miles. We Bennet supporters simply didn't see the justification for firing an incumbent (by appointment) centrist candidate with plenty of money and national party support, in favor of starting over with a risky new centrist candidate whose votes would barely have differed from those of the Senator we already had anyway. 

                  It's also completely natural and normal for the President and the party to support their own incumbent. I mean… duh. Of course they supported Senator Bennet. The only reason for them not to support their own incumbent would be some major scandal. Since Bennet wasn't an ax murderer or child molester or anything of course he retained their support and their money Nothing sinister about it. It just made political sense. 

                  1. That's pretty much exactly what happened in 2010, and I've heard seasoned OFA people regret the OFA pre-primary interference and promise that it will never happen again. Not you, obviously, but there are people who do think ignoring grassroots folks is a bad idea, even when you are on the winning side.

                    It was just another deal made by dealmaker Bennet, and it's only part of the baggage he will bring to an election against Tipton, Buck, or whomever the GOP puts up against him for the Senate seat.  Other people who resent Bennet: DPS teachers whose retirement benefits were bargained away and paid for with borrowed money, teachers whose jobs were lost under the educational "reform" Bennet promoted as DPS Superintendent, environmental activists upset about his endorsement of the KXL pipeline, natural fooods and organic farming people upset that he ignores their concerns, and votes Monsanto's way, anyone who isn't a Wall Street dealmaker like Bennet himself…the list goes on.

                    Of course I voted for the little weasel – he was up against What the Buck. But he did not and will not ever get an hour of my volunteer time, nor a dime of my hard-earned money, and trust, there are plenty of good Dems and progressives who feel the same.
                     

                    1. Romanoff ran a very dirty sleezy campaign against Bennet. Plus he was the state DLC chairman and chaired Hillary's campaign. I think he left many bad feelings from the Senate race and didn't try to patch things up in his run for CD6. He should have never lost the CD6 race even in a heavily republican year. Many Dems in CD6 that I talked with felt that Romanoff is very friendly but has an air of entitlement. This is a house seat made for a Democrat. I agree with taterheapton on supporting Bennet in 2016.

                    2. If you think that what I wrote describes exactly what happened then I really don't understand why you feel the way you do. The majority of Colorado primary voting Dems chose Bennet just like they chose Salazar. The caucus only determines whether you have enough support to be on the ballot and whether you get to occupy the first line in your race. Caucus voters don't represent "Colorado". They represent a very narrow slice and lots of them, including me, supported Salazar and then Bennet for very sensible reasons, not because we were duped by big old evil DC. It's my opinion that the people who were duped in 2010 duped themselves into thinking Romanoff was something he clearly never was.

                      Primary voters are simply a broader selection of grassroots voters than caucus goers. I'm both but I could never manage to talk myself into buying the idea that Mike Miles could possibly win statewide back in 2004 or that Romanoff had been magically transformed into a lefty champion in 2010, nor that he would have a better chance than fellow centrist Bennet of winning.

                      Interference was not the reason Salazar won the primary in 2004 or Bennet won the appointment by Ritter, who was no great friend of Romanoff's, in 2008 and by 2010 the majority of grassroots primary voting Dems just didn't agree with you that Bennet should be fired in favor of Romanoff. 

                      Your choice lost fair and square. It was his choice to refuse the kind of money he'd always accepted up until that point. There are some very good PACs too, you know. Those of us who thought unilaterally disarming was a stupid idea have now been proved right twice. Time for Romanoff fans to get over it. Your guy just wasn't the Guv's choice in 2008 and wasn't  a very good candidate in the 2010 primary or in 2014 general.

                  2. One more time, and I'm done with this. I know you'll have to have the last word, Bluecat, and I respect that.

                    This is not about Romanoff. Not about Bennet. Not really about any specific candidate.

                    What's my angst, or my cloudy memory according to Frank, or whatever about? Feds interfering with a state primary before the primary election.

                    Afterwards, yes, fine. Let the best candidate , or the best-run campaign, win. But not futhamuckin before.

                    Politico wrote, about the OFA staffer's interference in the Romanoff/Bennet race:

                    They undercut the Obama’s reputation on two fronts. Trying to put the fix in to deny Democratic voters the chance to choose for themselves who their Senate nominees should be is hardly consistent with the idea of “Yes we can” grassroots empowerment that is central to Obama’s brand.

                    Should I tell a new 18 year old voter to attend caucuses, or not?  What would you tell such a voter? ("It will be a great learning experience, but don't get your hopes up"?)

                    Is the fix always already in? Because you seem to be saying that it is, and that's just fine. It's OK if Washington picks and finances and campaigns for primary candidates before the state caucuses weigh in, and before voters vote in primaries.

                    Seriously, why bother caucusing? Why have a grassroots if they (we) are always going to be ignored by paid consultants?

                    In fact, why bother volunteering? Why work for a candidate? If corporate interests have already chosen their friendliest candidate, and they are willing to buy paid canvassers and robocallers and push polls and paid consultants who tell them to put out silly repetitive ads, why shouldn't grassroots people just sit it out? Tell me.

                     

                    1. As far as caucus, I would tell them how it works. That caucus starts the process of deciding who qualifies for the primary ballot and gets the first position on that ballot and where delegates are selected for the next round assemblies. I'd explain that first position on the ballot via the caucus/convention route doesn't guarantee selection in the final stage, the primary. Many factors are at play between caucus night, assemblies, conventions and the primary election. 

                      Also that attending caucus makes it pretty easy to go for a spot as a delegate for the next round and a shot all the way up to national convention in a presidential year. It also introduces you to your local HD officers and activists who will be happy to explain how you can participate as a volunteer or become a PCP (precinct committee person) or officer at HD level. It also gives you input into the party platform.

                      I would tell them how I felt very isolated as a Dem in my (at the time) mostly Republican  and Republican leaning indie south suburb until I went to my first caucus and discovered a community of like minded people including near  neighbors and how great that was and how many lasting friendships I formed. How it introduced me to understanding how local, state and national politics work, a great education that has enabled me to be an informed participant in the political life of my various districts, city, state and country and to meet and talk to my elected representatives and candidates for office. 

                      I would tell them that going to that first caucus changed my life and I'll always be so glad I finally got off my butt and attended.

                      I would tell them that if a majority of us really participated or at least paid close attention to what our elected officials are doing, who is running, what their stands are, and voted in every election we really could make make a difference. That they count on young voters not voting in sufficient numbers. That only young voters voting will ever force pols to take notice.

                      I mean this not as a "last word" but in answer to your question  "What would you tell such a voter?"  This is what I would tell them about the value of participating starting at caucus level, which I believe does a have considerable value even if the political process isn't as pure as the driven snow, and, at the very least, paying attention and voting every single election. That, as close as the choices might seem there is always a candidate who would be better on your issues than the other candidate, that the party that wins majorities has tremendous power in setting legislative agendas and how the legislation that does or does not come out of these legislatures seriously affects their every day lives and future.

                      That's what I'd tell them.

                    2. BC, thanks for your eloquent answer.  (no reply option on your post, so I replied to mine). 

    2. When Republicans vote for some random guy because he has an R after his name, we get Chapses and Lamborns. When Dems vote for random anointed or appointed people because they have a D after their names, we get corporate shills like Bennet and Hickenlooper.

      Until or unless the voting public becomes aware and informed about policy, our voting preferences will be confined to who has good hair and offends the fewest people.

      1. I have been mostly OK with Bennet's positions. And some of Hickenloopers, but I recall a lot of excitement around the (then-) Denver mayor, and a more mixed set of D supporters than just stupid sheep that backed Bennet.  I believe your sense of history has been clouded.  

        1. I worked and poll-watched for Hick in '10, so I suppose I'd be one of those "mixed set of Dem supporters" you mention.  Was/is he better than the alternative(s) then and now? Of course. Has he done a few positive things? Yes. Am I thoroughly disappointed in his shilling and giving cover  for the fossil fuels energy industry in Colorado? Absolutely.

          And it was absolutely predictable, given his background as a geologist and entrepeneur, that he would be more friendly to the Fossilonians and big business in general, than to any policies which lessened corporate profit.

          If there are clouded political histories here, I nominate those who would gloss over Democratic infighting by saying it was all Romanoff's fault, or ____ (fill in blank).  Yes, I know oppo researchers read this blog, and take notes for future use. AC tried to splinter Romanoff support by bringing up old contradictory immigration policies. That was comical.

          The poop flew in 2010. Probably both (Dem) sides threw it.  It was nasty and ugly and we are still feeling the effects today. Pretending that we are some sort of Kumbayah party whose only dissenters are memory-impaired kooks doesn't serve us well going forward.

           

        2. All things are relative.  Does anyone who is now trashing Hick and Bennet actually think we'd ve better off if Dan Maes, Tanc or Buck had won in '10?  (I should say, anyone this side of Moderatus or A/C.)

          Bennet was not my first choice in 2010 and he has taken positions with which I've disagreed (e.g., Keystone) but I'm not delusional enough to believe I will ever see the perfect candidate on the ballot.  I voted for him in the general in '10 and expect to do te same again next year.

  1. The only people to took this seriously to begin with were the lazy reporters'' at the Grand Junction Sentinel, who took an obvious suck-up-to-the-boss comment from a Tipton aide and blew it into a story. It's not the first time: that's how we got the name McInnis Canyons.

    Tipton is as nice a guy as you'll meet, but he's dumber than a box of rocks. Call Gardner (or Bennet, for that matter) all the names you want but dumb ain't one of them.

     

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