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February 16, 2009 11:17 PM UTC

Bennet Hits West Slope After Stimulus Vote

  • by: Colorado Pols

Sen. Michael Bennet is again visiting Western Slope communities today, introducing himself to voters and local officials and taking questions on the recently passed economic stimulus plan. He’s also appearing as his own headliner on this tour, notably getting out from under Governor Bill Ritter’s wing.

After a town hall in Ridgway that just got underway a few minutes ago, Bennet will host another forum in Delta at 3PM before heading to the Museum of Western Colorado in Grand Junction this evening. Yesterday, Bennet appeared in Durango to a large crowd and directly addressed criticism of the plan, as the Herald recaps:

“It’s only the first step,” he told about 175 people gathered for a town hall-style meeting at the Durango Public Library. “It’s not even close to being the final step.”

For about 45 minutes, he talked about his work before being appointed by Gov. Bill Ritter to replace Sen. Ken Salazar, who was tapped by the new administration to head the Interior Department.

Bennet had been the superintendent of Denver Public Schools, making him something of a dark horse for the position because of his lack of political experience. But he said his experience reforming a dysfunctional institution made him well-qualified for the job.

Opening the floor for questions, he was asked about everything from creating green jobs to closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay…

To a question about an apparent lack of emphasis on alternative energy in the stimulus package, Bennet said, “Don’t give up to soon.”

He said developing a new energy economy remains a priority in Washington.

“This is a great opportunity for our country to create jobs that can’t be shipped overseas,” he said.

With the country hemorrhaging jobs and every sign pointing to continued recession, Bennet took pains to emphasize the limitations of what even a $787 billion stimulus bill can accomplish.

“Maybe the best we can actually hope for is that it slows the decline,” he told an Editorial Board meeting at The Durango Herald.


35 thoughts on “Bennet Hits West Slope After Stimulus Vote

  1. “Maybe the best we can actually hope for is that it slows the decline,” he told an Editorial Board meeting at The Durango Herald.

    Voters rarely reward someone who presides over a declining economy. Yes it would certainly be worse if the GOP was still in charge, but voters want success, not “less bad.”

      1. Anyone who thinks we can fast forward to happy days are here again over night is deluded.  We are presently losing thousands more jobs every day.  Maybe it’s time to stop assuming we are a bunch of childish morons and start dealing in truth rather than catchy slogans.  

        1. U shaped recovery, and certainly not a V shaped recovery. Indeed, the more I look into it, the recovery looks like an L shape for a while, while we undo some 40 years of poor energy policy, poor debt/credit policies, massive military spending and adventurism, and poor public/social policies especially as they relate to wages where the middle class has virtually disappeared.

          The next few years will be very difficult.

    1. to have a politician actually speaking the truth about a problem. It might throw voters for a loop but I bet they’re smarter than David gives them credit for.  

      1. The problem is not saying it will be rough as we work on turning this around, but by doing A, B, C we will turn it around. The problem is all we hear is it will keep getting worse. That’s not going to sell.

        What people want to see is a clear credible plan that will get us out of this mess, and then they want to see us hit the milestones on that plan. So far that is lacking.

        1. Not really. Obama has been clear that this stimulus package is just the first step. Auto industry plan unveiled this week, foreclosure plan hits Wednesday from Phoenix, and TARP II has been rolling out (admittedly not as coherently as everyone wanted, but you’ve got Lindsey Graham saying nationalization of banks is an option). Already there’s talk there might be another stimulus this summer.

          What’s emerging is a clear, “credible” plan to take on the biggest financial meltdown in modern history.

          If you want some rigid, inflexible plan all laid out in bullet points with “milestones,” that’s not this administration’s style and I don’t believe that’s what voters want either.  

            1. It’s one thing to say we’re going to create a certain number of jobs; some of that is automatic from the infrastructure projects. But then there are a bunch of multiplier effect things, which have some empirical evidence behind them but are still somewhat theoretical.

              To say the unemployment rate will e.g. be at 5% by October 2009 seems unreasonable and arbitrary to me. What other sort of benchmarks are reasonable? I think most people won’t even start doing the comparison until the 2010 elections, and they’ll likely have an intuitive idea whether things are better or worse.

              If you have some better idea of how to quantify this in the minds of the average voters, please suggest it. I just don’t see how it would work.

    2. Looking at what is going on all over the country and in other countries (Japan, China, Europe) I don’t think it is possible to have a plan or talk about success right now.  We can try to fill in some of the demand gap and cushion some of the blow with jobs and unemployment insurance, but we are a long way from the end of this.

  2. Is Andrew Rommanoff still talking about running against Bennet?

    I think that Romanoff lacks the guts to challenge Bennet. It would sure make for a lively 18 months if Romanoff does run.

    1. But there are lots of others alking about Romanoff challenging Bennet.

      Let’s remember who is saying what.

      Andrew has been going around talking about issues in a general sense, not about his future plans.

      1. I hear that Romanoff is angry at being twice passed over by Governor Ritter. So angry that he his openly talking about a primary challenge to  Senator Bennet.  

        Maybe he is going around the State to Central Committee meetings only to kill time which is one thing he now has a lot of.  

        1. Talk to anyone Andrew is visiting with and you get the same response — he is considering challenging either Bennet or Ritter in the primary; but also is looking at many other options and is getting as much good advice as possible before deciding his next career move.  

          1. Genius seems to have the latest info on former Speaker Romanoff.

            Romanoff will talk about running but not too loudly. Romanoff knows that he lacks the guts to run and he will not do anything that might offend the Governor or the Junior Senator. This is a fun thread but there is zero chance of Romanoff actually challenging anyone in a primary.  

          2. I’ll believe that when I see it on the record from a reliable source.

            Andrew is telling people he’s trying to decide what to do next — if wishful thinkers whipped into a frenzy by Dick Wadhams’ attempts to sow dissent among Democrats want to project their own bruised feelings into that open-ended comment, then no one’s stopping them. But it doesn’t take a genius to see what’s going on here.

              1. to Ritter or Bennet in 2010 is what we’re talking about. Who knows whether he might run for “anything” in 2010? But Dick Wadhams isn’t the only campaign veteran wishing it were still campaign season.

    1. But I’ve seen the Rocky’s commercial with the weird rationalization of “Obomber” about sixteen dozen times. Is this organization buying serious media or just public access stuff?

      1. Seriously, you guys haven’t noticed the obnoxious, very silly Rocky’s Auto ads for the last dozen years until they make fun of a regular character’s odd pronunciations? I’d take a step back and relax. The Rocky’s crew is crass and flippant about everything and everyone.

        1. They called B-ball player Obama O’Bomber in High School because of his long jumpers. I doubt there was ever an intended serious anti-Obama message in Rocky’s Auto ads.  

          1. I love those idiotic Rocky’s ads.  They do stick in my head – I keep asking my 2 year old son what hes going to do with his tax refunder from Obamer.

  3. of course Mesa County voted for Wayne ‘Who?’ Wolf over John Salazar 2:1.  Mr. Hanky could win Mesa County if he had an R after his name, or in the case of Janet Rowland, after her name.

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